Need Statement - Global Education is a necessity for the 21st Century learner. Students no longer only compete domestically. Global education enables them to understand the links between their own lives and those of people throughout the world. It increases understanding of economic, cultural, political, and environmental influences, and helps students to develop the skills, attitudes and values which enable people to work together to bring about change and take control of their lives. Bright Light Volunteers (BLV) is launching a STEM program in Costa Rica in 2021 for black female HS students. It will invest in the future of black women in STEM careers and break gender biases in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. Society does not draw an accurate nor comprehensive image of the desires of many black girls. They normally see portraits of scientists as an intellectual, nerdy image of a man wearing a lab coat with bifocals as he conducts experiments in the lab. Pictures of Aristotle, Albert Einstein, Sir Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin, and Bill Nye the Science Guy solidify the accepted image of scientists. These pictures demonstrate that whether in fiction or in life, scientists are often depicted as white and male. This dominated image, does not resemble black female students and engenders a false assumption that these young girls should not aspire to become scientists because either STEM careers are only designated for white men or the attainment of a STEM career would go against the accepted traditional gender role. Black girls can begin to envision themselves in careers that have been predominantly occupied by white males.
Mission/History - The mission of Bright Light Volunteers (BLV) is to make the world a brighter place by providing educational service opportunities that foster the development of global leaders and citizens. Founded as a 501(c)(3) in 2014, over 600 volunteers, mostly students, have served abroad in 12 countries. BLV works closely with middle and high school educators, parents, and International Baccalaureate coordinators, as well as partners in BLV host countries, to ensure participants gain the skills and experiences they need to become global leaders of the future. BLV provides struggling communities in host countries with funding and manpower to increase access to education, improve community infrastructure, and work on environmental projects.
Scholarships: A portion of student participants come from mid-to-upper income households and can fully pay to participate in the program. However, over 74% come from low-to-moderate income households. For these students, scholarships open doors to unique opportunities that would otherwise remain beyond their reach. BLV seeks to underwrite participants' costs for this program which is between $2,500 - $3,000 per participant.
Program Benefit: Participants earn a Certificate for Global Citizenship from Bethel University; obtain knowledge and understanding of local, national and/or global issues and the interconnectedness and interdependency of different countries and populations; develop awareness of one’s own personal reactions to those from different cultures (personal biases, beliefs, attitudes); and act effectively and responsibly at local, national and global levels for a more peaceful, just and equitable world.
Measurable Outcomes: The program will serve 60 at-risk high school students in 2021-22 (plus up to 700 individuals and families in the host countries). BLV has identified the following key performance indicators: 100% of participants will complete 35 hours of volunteer services; 95% of student participants will indicate an increased knowledge of a new culture; 95% of student participants will indicate an increased understanding of and confidence in their own leadership abilities; and College acceptance rate for participants will be 100%.
- 100% College acceptance rate for participant students.
- 100% Retention rate for participant students.
- $25,894 Economic impact of global service learning program in the U.S. (i.e. 35 service hours minimum per participant; volunteer time valued at $27.20/hour).
- $159,711 Economic impact of global service learning program host countries/communities (i.e. schools built, water systems, wells, other physical structures).
Specific Request: Any contribution amount will get us closer to our $30,000 goal. Funding will support the costs of tuition, travel accommodations, meals, insurance, program staff, and supplies for service projects. Your support will help Black Girls Go Global and promote their role as global leaders and citizens.
To learn more about Bright Light Volunteers, please click here .
Thank you for helping us make the world a brighter place.
The Team at Bright Light Volunteers