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Global Minds Initiative

Promoting cross-cultural understanding and empathy through youth-led extracurricular activities.

In schools across the United States and Canada, students from over 50 countries meet after school to combat intolerance and foster intercultural friendships. Designed, led, and run entirely by youth, this program pairs native English speakers with English-language learners to support academic performance and forge social understanding.

HundrED 2020


HundrED has selected this innovation to

HundrED 2020

Bilingual Education

Pittsburgh, USA

Web presence






January 2019
The Global Minds club changed my life. It helped me share my story, make new friends, and helped me feel at home. I never felt more welcomed.

About the innovation

How can youth lead the way in creating a world where immigrant and refugee students can thrive?

As global migration increases, communities around the world are becoming more diverse. Cultural diversity is at an all-time high in the United States, and continues to rise. And with increased diversity comes cultural conflict and misunderstanding, which can lead to xenophobia, discrimination, and violence.

Over half of the world’s refugees are under the age of 18. In order to flourish, these children need a positive, welcoming environment that supports their language learning and social integration.

How can youth lead the way in creating a world where immigrant and refugee students can thrive?

Designed, led, and run entirely by youth, Global Minds does two things at once: it forges intercultural understanding among diverse groups of young people while supporting immigrant and refugee students learning English.

Native English speakers and English-language learners come together after school once a week to learn about each other’s cultures and practice English through structured activities. They also complete service projects that benefit immigrants, refugees, and people of color in their communities.

Since establishing the first club at Allderdice High School in Pittsburgh, Global Minds has launched a chapter model to support students at 22 other schools across the United States and Canada, with new chapters being formed monthly.

In the schools operating Global Minds chapters, students of different nationalities sit together at lunch, go to the movies, and smile at one another in the hall. These might seem like small acts, but they represent steps toward a cultural shift that is needed for every child to flourish.

For more information, data, and stories check out our end of the year evaluation:

Impact & scalability

Impact & Scalability

Global Minds Initiative is an inspiring youth-led innovation that saw an opportunity to forge intercultural understanding among diverse groups of young people and support immigrant and refugee students learning English. This has led to powerful experiences and understanding at the school and community level. The Chapter model allows for adaptability and scaling.

HundrED Academy Reviews

NOTEWORTHY: Really like that this is youth-led. Scalability is good and their website makes it easy to sign up and open a new chapter.

Great idea and it is wonderful that enthusiastic youngsters from all over the world teaching pupils and student about different cultures. The concept is good!

- Academy member
Academy review results
Read more about our selection process

Implementation steps

Visit Global Minds website

Take a look at the Global Minds website, and find out if the program is the right fit for your school. The "Who We Are" tab will give you more information about the history of the Global Minds Initiative, the values and topics they promote, and the people behind it all! The "Programming" tab contains a description of the after-school program and recent community events.

Complete an application

If you believe that Global Minds is the right fit for your school or community, head to the "Chapters" tab on the website and find the application to start a new chapter at the bottom of the page. The application is simple and should only take a few minutes! It will ask for your name, ways/times to contact you, and information about your community.

Receive a Chapter Toolkit

If your chapter application has been accepted, you will receive a chapter toolkit from Global Minds. It will include a copy of the curriculum, leadership guides, t-shirts, and lots of other goodies!

Recruit Chapter Leadership

The Global Minds toolkit will provide guidelines for leaders, including tips on recruitment and meeting facilitation.

Plan programming

Using your Global Minds toolkit, which includes a multitude of fun, educational, and engaging activities, planning programming will be simple for your chapter.

Spread of the innovation

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