The Global Issues & Youth Action Institute

Want to change the world? Take action on the causes you care about!

“GIV gave me the hope and optimism that I needed to try and work on issues that I thought could not be fixed. Thank you for making me feel that I can make a difference in our state, country, and world.”

Summer 2024 dates and information coming soon!

About the Global Issues & Youth Action Institute...

Ready to make a difference in the world?

This summer, take on political, environmental, and social justice issues at the GIV Global Issues & Youth Action Institute! You’ll join a community of motivated young Vermonters as you learn how to battle for whatever you care about, whether it be the climate crises, racism, sexism, inequality, or justice in all forms. Together, we can mobilize our collective energy with activists from around the world, leading movements for real change and deepening our hope with action!

Summer 2024 dates and information coming soon!

For information regarding tuition, please click here.

Students at Global Issues 2023
Global Issues Presentation Becca Balint 2023

At This Institute You Will...

  • Learn about current events, leadership, activism, politics, and social change.
  • Meet and work with Vermont’s political leaders and avid activists.
  • Examine all sides of political issues and perspectives, and learn tools for productive dialogue and debate.
  • Make friends and build community with young leaders from around the globe.
  • Develop your leadership and activism skills.
  • Learn how to make a difference in your community.
  • Have the time of your life!

We explore challenging topics with activities that inspire communication and action, including...

  • Intensive issue groups on politics, social justice, global issues, leadership, climate change, and more.
  • Honest, direct, and outcome-driven discussions with politicians, activists, issue experts, and change-makers.
  • Mock Congress, United Nations, and Local Democracy simulations, role plays, and debate activities.
  • Team-building challenges, leadership and activism workshops, and artistic activities.
  • Fun all around, including drumming, campfires, sports, dances, an open mic night, and a banquet!
Global Issues Group Photo 2023

Topics We Explore Include...

Youth Movements
Infectious Diseases
Racial Justice
Social Justice
Climate Change
Food Security
Arts Activism
Refugees and Immigration
Social Justice
Child Labor
Environmental Issues
Weapons & Arms Control

Experience the vibe at the Global Issues & Youth Action Institute!

Check out photos from the Summer 2023 session below…

View the full album and download photos by clicking here.

Note: This album is arranged in chronological order as events took place throughout the Institute.

Video recap from the Institute coming soon!

Attending this Institute can earn you credit and proficiencies!

How To Get School Credit

We encourage all students who participate in an Institute to use the experience to earn high school credit.

Awarding high school credit is at the discretion of the student’s sending school, so we recommend students make a plan with their high school guidance counselor before attending GIV to earn their credit.

Each school has unique requirements around proficiencies, credits, and PLPs, so there are multiple pathways to awarding credit based on your school's system of assessments.

However, we recommend that high schools award credit by having students produce one or more of the following...
- A presentation to reflect on the overall experience to present for counselors and/or teachers in the fall after their participation.
- A learning journal for submission about areas of learning, activities, reflections.
- Work examples to share with sending school teachers (physical or digital products, writing, videos of presentations, learning journal, etc.) to be reviewed and assessed.

Please reach out to us at [email protected] if we can directly help or support you or your school in determining credit opportunities for your experience at GIV.

Curriculum Format

10-day intensive
Daily workshops and group activities
Course topics: choose between Policy or Skills thread
Workshops: choose between Global Issues or Action Skills
Meetings with local and foreign activists and experts
Live activism opportunities for protest and community action
Team-building and leadership
Dormitories and roommates
12:1 student-to-staff ratio

Curriculum Topics

Racial/Social Justice
Poverty and Food Security
Climate Change
Youth Movements
Child Labor
Arts Activism
and more!

Hours and Opportunities

60+ hours of global citizenship exploration
Connections/collaborations with professors, politicians, and activists
Activism and local initiative involvement opportunities

High School Credit Recommendations

Equivalent to one semester of high school credit in 1 or more of the following:

Global Citizenship- Civic and Political Institutions
Global Citizenship- Democratic Principles
Global Citizenship- Economic Exchange and Markets
Financial Literacy
Public Speaking

VT Proficiency Indicators

This Institute’s curriculum has been aligned with the following Vermont proficiency-based graduation requirements at the high school level.

Global Citizenship
- Constructing Questions: 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d
- Determining Helpful Sources: 2a
- Civic/Political Institutions: 3a, 3d, 3c, 3d
- Democratic Principles: 4a, 4b
- Processes, Rules, Laws: 5a, 5b
- Exchange and Markets: 7a, 7b
- Global Economy: 9a
- Geographic Representations: 10a, 10b
- Human Environment Interaction: 11a, 11b
- Human Population Spatial: 12a
- Global Interconnections Spatial: 13a, 13b, 13c
- Change Continuity Context: 14a, 14b
- Perspectives: 15a
- Developing Claims as Evidence: 17a, 17b
- Gathering Sources: 18a
- Claims Using Evidence: 19a, 19b
- Communicating: 20a, 20b
- Critiquing Conclusions: 21a
- Taking Informed Actions: 22a, 22b

English Language Arts
- Speaking/Listening: 4a, 4b, 4c, 4d, 4e
- Speaking/Listening: 5a, 5b, 5c, 5d, 5e

Transferable Skills
- Communication: 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 1e, 1f, 1g
- Self-Direction: 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, 2e, 2f, 2g, 2h, 2i
- Problem Solving: 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d, 3e, 3f, 3g, 3h
- Citizenship: 4a, 4b, 4c, 4d, 4e, 4f
- Informed Thinking: 5a, 5b, 5f

So how does it all work?

Every day is a unique experience filled with expert-led instruction, hands-on investigation, field trips, and immersive learning. We work to build a community around our experiences and share in our passion for everything we explore.

**The schedule is slightly different each year and announced when you arrive!

GIV’s supportive Institute structure is endlessly enriching, empowering, and engaging.

An Example of a Day at the Global Issues and Youth Action Institute

7:30 AM: Breakfast
8:30 AM: Dialogue Groups
9:00 AM: Student-Selected Issue Groups
11:00 AM: Guest Speakers
12:00 PM: Lunch & Free Time
2:00 PM: Afternoon Workshops
4:30 PM: Arts Activism!
5:30 PM: Dinner & Free Time
7:30 PM: Nightly Activities and Social Events
10:00 PM: End of Day

Global Issues Faculty

Emily Kornheiser

Emilie Kornheiser comes to her work with a passion for supporting and amplifying community voices– asking communities to own and tell their own stories in order to facilitate shared visions and outcomes. For the last decade, she has focused on improving the functioning and accountability of community development and support systems in Vermont state government as a state legislator and as a nonprofit consultant and employee. She has worked with young parents at her local Parent Child Center, with teens as workforce development director at Youth Services, and as a full time consultant with Youth Collaboratory, a national organization that places youth at the center of decision making.  Before transitioning to local service, she worked internationally as a consultant brokering and evaluating partnerships between corporations and national governments to meet community development goals.

Ms. Kornheiser received her BA in Sociology from Marlboro College and attended the MS program in Community Development and Applied Economics at the University of Vermont. She has served overseas promoting democracy and supporting small business and civil society development, and she has held numerous positions at community-based organizations throughout Vermont. She also started her own small business in downtown Brattleboro. Emilie continues to work with organizations both public and private that put connection at the center of skills building, accountability, and economic justice.

Global Issues Students Activity 2022

For Students Outside Vermont...

This Institute accepts out-of-state and international students. If you are an out-of-state student interested in applying, please fill out our online application.

Contact us at [email protected] to find out how to apply if you are an out-of-state or international student.

Want to learn how to be seen, be heard, and truly make a difference? Then this is the Institute for you!

Subscribe to Our Mailing List to Get Application Updates!