Learning Life is now seeking individuals and organizations interested in helping to build a “World Affairs Pipeline” connecting lower-income DC children to opportunities and careers in international relations.

The Challenge

Washington DC is a world city divided.  On one hand, DC is home to thousands of individuals and organizations daily engaged in international affairs.  On the other hand, DC is also home to thousands of lower-income youth that have traveled little if at all outside DC, and are largely disconnected from the wider world as well as their own community.  These two groups are in some ways worlds apart, yet often live just blocks apart, and may cross paths daily, strangers to each other.  Nonetheless, both groups are inescapably part of a wider world increasingly connected in at once exciting and frightful ways.  Those disengaged from an early age may not only be left behind, but become the resentful rather than caring global citizens we need.    

World Affairs PipelineThe Proposed Pipeline

There is much that caring individuals and organizations in metro DC can do to help bridge the divide between these two groups, but it takes vision, collaborative planning, and follow-through.  It also takes a pipeline.  Committed groups already build steel and plastic pipelines to deliver oil and gas to homes and businesses across the world.  So can they build social pipelines that nurture, in coordinating ways, caring global citizens from kindergarten to after-school, weekend and summer youth and family programs, to internships and volunteer opportunities, to higher education programs and apprenticeships, to jobs and careers in world affairs.

This is what we propose.  We are Learning Life, an educational nonprofit based in Ward 8 of Washington DC.  Our flagship program, the Citizen Diplomacy Initiative (CDI), engages lower-income Ward 8 families in live dialogues and project collaborations with lower-income families in other nations to help democratize diplomacy, and nurture more caring and capable global citizens.  We are small but innovative.  We know we can achieve more in partnership with like-minded metro DC international organizations.  We know that transforming the lives of lower-income youth is not easy, but committed groups working together in the long-term can transform people, cities and the world.

Get Involved

The Pipeline is a long-term project started in 2018.  Learning Life is currently talking with relevant metro DC organizations about ways they might help.  Possible Pipeline contributions include, but are not limited to:

  1. Tours of your organization’s office to explain to DC high school students the educational opportunities and types of post-college employment your organization provides
  2. Visits to classes, families or youth groups to present an international issue and how your organization addresses that issue
  3. One-on-one mentoring of DC children focused on engaging them with the world through visits to metro DC museums, embassies, festivals, restaurants, etc.
  4. International issue simulations with DC middle and high school students
  5. Virtual exchanges between high school students in DC and other cities worldwide
  6. A DC Title 1 school-based after-school program that engages K-12 kids in world learning
  7. An annual summer world learning or issue challenge with prizes for middle and/or high school students
  8. An introduction to international majors and careers for entering metro DC college students
  9. Opportunities for middle and high school students to meet and learn from foreign visitors
  10. Travel abroad opportunities for eligible and motivated high school students from lower-income families
  11. Spring, summer and fall internships for motivated and eligible high school students from lower-income families
  12. Apprenticeships for motivated and eligible college students and graduates from lower-income families

If interested in helping to build a DC World Affairs Pipeline, please contact us at email@learninglife.info.