A World of Good

December 1, 2020  • Institute Staff

“Virtual exchange helped me promote tolerance and the eradication of stereotypes within my local community,” says Ashley Lin, one of over 43,000 youth in the US and the Middle East and North Africa who will have participated in one of the Institute’s Stevens Initiative–funded virtual exchanges by summer 2022. “It has shown me the power of learning from and working with people who are different from you to tackle global goals.” Through her exchange, World Learning’s “The Experiment Digital” Lin developed leadership skills and friendships around the world. The Experiment Digital helps high-schoolers become civically engaged through a community-service project. Inspired, Lin used her new skills to launch Project Exchange, a virtual study abroad program that gives middle- and high-school students cross-cultural learning experiences through text. The youth-led program uses design thinking, community journalism, and UN Sustainable Development Goals to enhance instruction and collaboration. Now, Lin is one of the first Stevens Initiative alumni to receive funding from its new Alumni Small Grants program. Lin says, “98 percent of our students feel more confident about their leadership abilities in a global society.” Lin’s goal for Project Exchange? To reach 10,000 students by 2030 who don’t traditionally have access to exchanges that include video. She wants all young people to see themselves as global changemakers.

stevensinitiative.org/alumni-small-grants | myprojectexchange.com