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Empowering the Next Generation

Student Voices in Global Dialogues: Empowering the Next Generation

By: Courtney Brooks, Global Ties KC President and CEO

Since the end of World War II, the United States’s role in the world has been defined by our global leadership. This has involved promotion of international order; defense of freedom, democracy, and human rights; and acting as a key ally to many. All while simultaneously supporting U.S. security, freedom, and prosperity. As the world becomes more interconnected and intercultural skills become even more essential for the next generation, Midwest nonprofit Global Ties KC is dedicated to empowering students as they take their place in this global environment. We are incredibly grateful for the Missouri Humanities partnership in making this programming a reality.  

It is against this interconnected background that Global Ties KC started the Youth Diplomats Institute in 2019 to develop young leaders capable of claiming their role as a citizen diplomat. The 9-month experiential learning program for high schoolers has grown in the past four years, bringing international exchange opportunity to students across Missouri.

Throughout this time, students have built their resumes, engaged in diplomacy simulations, and had conversations with leaders from NATO, journalists from the Middle East, and students from across Latin America and Africa. In August of 2022, nine students travelled to Washington DC to explore American democracy and network with native Midwesterners that now live in that area. More students will travel to DC, as well as to Chicago, during 2023. Our students emerge from the program with increased confidence in their ability to navigate different cultures; an increased understanding of diplomacy, democracy, and international affairs; and a desire to interact with individuals who are different from themselves. Global Ties KC is currently accepting student nominations for the 2023-2024 program, and we will once again welcome in participants from across the state. Interested students can learn more at Participation is open and of no cost to all students. This includes the Youth Diplomats Institute and travel opportunities.

Important conversations around foreign policy and global issues such as human rights, environmental changes, agriculture, and the prevention of the next global pandemic are taking place daily. Citizens across the Midwest deserve a place at the table. This conversation is not only subject to individuals who live in larger cities, but rather invites people from every corner of the state to have a voice. The voices of students living in rural regions are equally important in the global dialogue.

Global Ties KC is committed to empowering students across the heartland, both urban and rural, to find their voice and become internationally minded citizens. All of our programs begin with this idea at heart. Both rural and urban communities have so much to share and learn from the world, and Global Ties KC is honored to play a key role in bringing the world to you.

Courtney Brooks, President and CEO of Global Ties KC, is responsible for connecting US Department of State programs to Kansas and Missouri. She is passionate about building bridges across cultures. She plans and implements Department of State sponsored adult and youth programs which bring delegates from over 100 countries across the world to the Kansas City area each year, connecting them with locals through professional and cultural activities. Courtney holds an MBA from UMKC Bloch School of Management in finance and international business as well as a BA from Saint Louis University with a triple major in political science, economics, and international studies.

Contact: Courtney Brooks, Global Ties KC, @GlobalTiesKC