This week, Chief Education Officer Dr. Janice Jackson spoke to CPS students who will be participating in Global Glimpse – a program that works to build leadership and global awareness among today’s youth. With the help of their CPS teachers, students will spend the second half of the school year learning about diversity, finance, travel, and Latin history and culture, and will then participate in a 15-day immersion experience in one of three Latin-American countries during the summer of 2017.

Here’s what Dr. Jackson had to say about the benefits of this unique experience, which is being provided to CPS students by Boeing, United Airlines, and Global Glimpse:

At CPS, our job is to educate new generations of leaders. Leaders whose knowledge and perspective extend far beyond their own backyards.

We work hard to achieve this in the classroom, but no amount of reading or discussion can match what students experience through Global Glimpse.

Our kids do not see the world through rose-colored glasses.

Many have experienced hardship in the form of poverty, violence or discrimination.

Yet since most have spent their whole lives in one place, sometimes on one street in one Chicago neighborhood, their understanding of these issues can be limited.

By showing them other sides of these circumstances, Global Glimpse broadens their perspectives in a powerful way.

When they shadow a child their age in Nicaragua, our students understand the issue of educational inequity in the larger world.

And when they visit communities where speaking English means a better quality of life, they develop a broader definition of poverty.

These are valuable lessons for our youth, as are the smaller, more practical objectives of the Global Glimpse program.

I like that this organization views global citizenship as more than just big picture issues.

That it places value on things like responsible travel practices and learning to manage money.

That there is an emphasis on relationship building, both with youth across the city and around the world, and that there is value in diversity.

Global Glimpse actively seeks out students with a wide range of talents, abilities and backgrounds. In fact, of our many partners at CPS, they are among the best at providing equitable access to global learning opportunities, which is a priority for our District.

This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity helps our students cross the line from child to adult.

They learn to represent their country with poise, and develop the confidence to create sustainable solutions to real-world problems.

They realize their potential as leaders, and return to their city and school communities with a strong sense of purpose,

I congratulate the students who have been chosen for this year’s program, and thank Boeing and United Airlines for helping expand Global Glimpse to include more CPS Schools.

I thank the CPS teachers who are this program’s driving force, and the Global Glimpse alumni, now just a few months away from graduation, for taking the time to mentor their fellow students.

This is a rare opportunity for all of you, and I’m confident it will move you closer to becoming the thinkers, innovators and leaders we need you to be.

Thank you.