Checking In With The U.S. – Pakistan Global Leadership and STEM Program

The U.S. – Pakistan Global Leadership and STEM Program is an exchange program that engages ten female Pakistani students in a variety of leadership building and STEM-focused educational activities. During their stay, students participated in an immersive nanotechnology curriculum at SUNY Polytechnic institute. When I arrived at the 4H Center a little over a week ago, I was greeted by a room full of exuberant smiles. Ten Pakistani girls, having just touched down from their respective hometowns the night before, were clustered at the long tables pulled together in the meeting room. They literally sparkled, clothed in traditional shalwar...

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From Behind The Desk To Changing Lives

Studying abroad is an adventure, and like all adventures, it has critical moments. As I undertook the journey I felt excited but also unsure of what to expect. My adventure began a little more than four months ago when I arrived in Washington, DC, with two suitcases, a study plan, a desire to find an internship and a fixed objective of widening my personal, cultural and professional perspectives. While pursuing my Bachelor’s in International Relations in La Universidad De Los Andes in Bogota, Colombia, I grew increasingly motivated to deepen my knowledge through work experience, and to become a...

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Combatting Human Trafficking Through The Arts

This blog was written by Joel Bergner, who recently went to India as part of Meridian’s Community Engagement through the Arts program:

Looking at a map of India’s eastern state West Bengal, one will notice that it has an unusual shape. At the top, a tiny sliver of land shoots hundreds of kilometers north, like a little tree growing out of rest of the state, which includes the capital city of Kolkata and the iconic Ganges River. This sliver pushes up into the Himalayas, and borders on Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, not far from Chinese-controlled Tibet. It is a fascinating place, with incredible mountainous views, the world-famous Darjeeling tea fields and Buddhist and Hindu temples spotting the landscape. However, it was none of these things that brought me here, to the small city of Siliguri. Upon arrival, I met with my team of local artists and Nishi Kant, director of the Indian NGO Shakti Vahini, who educated us on the situation here.

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Bringing Peace back to the “City of Peace”

“Activism is action to bring about change in society. It can be trying to make a government change its laws, or trying to make people change what they do.”- Thamer Alyas Once upon a time, Baghdad was known as the City of Peace. After years of conflict throughout Iraq it is fair to say Baghdad is rarely looked at as a symbol of peace any more, but what people don’t understand is that peace is still very present in this city and all over Iraq. Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP) is a highly competitive program sponsored by the...

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Choosing To Be Grateful Will Make You Happier and More Productive: A Global Perspective

Do you want more from your life? More happiness? Better health? Deeper relationships? Increased productivity? What if I told you there is one thing that can help you in all of those areas? Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and we all know what that means—ahhh, roast turkey: that centerpiece of the Thanksgiving table. However, you are probably wondering why talk about Thanksgiving in a blog about global leadership? Because there is more evidence of the relationship between gratitude, happiness and productivity at work. Yes! A study by Martin Seligman and Nansook Park (Positive Pscylogy Progress, 2005) revealed that...

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