The Global Issues & Youth Action Institute

Want to change the world? Take action on the causes you care about at the Global Issues & Youth Action Institute!

“ [This Institute was] instrumental in helping me determine what I wanted to do with my future career, and helped me develop some great interpersonal skills. It was an incredible experience to be able to meet with professionals who work in making change and to have the intensive college-like experience to explore.”

— Elizabeth,   2023 GIYA Alum

About the Global Issues & Youth Action Institute...

Ready to make a difference in the world?

At the GIV Global Issues and Youth Action Institute you can take on the political, environmental, and social issues you care about through education, discussion, collaboration, and action. Together, we create a community of motivated youth who work together to tackle the topics society is facing, such as climate change, race, gender, sexuality, freedom, economic inequality, and more. Our learning community mobilizes into action by connecting with activists from around the world and leading movements for real change and a more informed future.

Thursday, July 11th – Sunday, July 21st, 2024
@ Greenway Institute
(on the former campus of Vermont College of Fine Arts)
Montpelier, VT

For information regarding this Institute’s sliding-scale tuition support, 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 activists.
  • Examine all sides of political issues and perspectives, and learn tools for productive inquiry, dialogue, and debate.
  • Make friends and build community with young leaders from around the globe.
  • Develop skills to lead from any seat at the table.
  • 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
GIYA Student Photo

Desired Applicant Qualities

The Governor’s Institutes of Vermont is a non-partisan organization. As such, we encourage applicants from a variety of perspectives, and we welcome ideological diversity.

Because of the interactive and interconnected nature of our time together, students who attend the Institute are expected to make a full-time commitment to the program and to their own learning and development.

We welcome applicants who are…

  • Curious about the issues facing Vermont
  • Committed to learning and growing
  • Interested in engaging in inquiry and dialogue

Topics We Explore Include...

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

Experience the vibe at Global Issues & Youth Action!

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.

Institute 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 Students Activity 2022

For Students Outside Vermont...

To ensure cross-cultural dialogue, the Global Issues & Youth Action Institute often includes groups of international students. If your group is interested in partnering, please reach out to us at [email protected]

Global Issues & Youth Action 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.

Thank you to our Institute Supporters!

Global Issues Sponsors

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

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