“If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. If you have come here because you realize that your liberation is bound up with mine—then let us work together”.
This value involves engaging, sharing, and supporting each other’s communities, building Empathy, and recognizing that none of our communities are perfect and we can all learn from each other. In GP projects and service work, the Beneficiaries are Leaders, Participants, and Owners of the project. What we bring to the communities we work in must support rather than replace existing, ongoing community efforts and strengths.
As youth, as communities, and as an organization, GP believes we succeed by remaining open, and by seeking and providing feedback. We can continuously enhance each other’s strategies and abilities to lead change in our communities and ourselves. Using this iterative, or Design Thinking approach, allows us to engage in a continual process of analyzing the mistakes (learned lessons) and successes (best practices) of ourselves and others.
We work to be more successful by overcoming silos, and engaging partnerships, best practices, and expertise across multiple academic/professional disciplines and cultures. The GP Curriculum conceives of learning as inherently active, problem solving focused, inquiry-based, relational, inter-disciplinary and experiential.
GP creates shared living experiences that safely expand comfort zones and build empathy.
GP recognizes that all challenges exist within a complex context, and that sharing daily life with others allows us to understand how to help in more appropriate, community-led, and ultimately, sustainable, ways. We prioritize for GP participants to be able to experience co-living with another family, in another community. Different than traveling somewhere for a few days or a few weeks, GP’s 45-day long program allows participants to truly feel immersed, and a part of the community. Similarly, our shorter but more intense Conferences bring youth together from different communities for often the first time, to share space and daily life. We learn to live with and care for our extended community, and we grow our compassion, sense of responsibility, and respect. As long as it is safe, we live, work, travel, and eat together with the communities we work in, rather than separating ourselves to stay in hotels, which is both ethically and economically inappropriate.
GP facilitates Youth-led Community Change, based in the belief that a community’s greatest resource and most important investment is its youth, who presented with positive opportunities become active agents of change. As a program we are merely facilitators.
We engage, and we follow, youth in empowering each other with the knowledge, self-esteem, critical thinking, connections, and skills needed to control their future. “Nothing about us without us”.
GP is all about turning Challenges into Opportunities, in the sense of persistently struggling, sometimes against all odds, to turn overcome barriers, and to open the doors necessary to make the world a better place. Tenacity is about accountability and commitment to ourselves, our fellow humans, and to our most challenged communities Everything we have achieved as a program, and that our youth and communities have achieved for themselves, has come from serious tenacity and hustle. Born in New York City just as the Financial Crisis was hitting, GP has pulled itself up by its bootstraps.
GP youth who get full scholarships to colleges of their choice, GP communities that become more stable, safe, and healthy, do so through struggle, grit, hustle, and perseverance. We also have the courage to move past the assumptions, biases, and prejudices, that hold us back—to step outside of our comfort zones. GP is our best attempt to “create authentic and meaningful communities that rebel against a world in crisis, not to escape from it, but to assume responsibility for the state of the world” (Greene, 1995).
Global Potential’s holistic model positively transforms the lives of urban youth. They shape the future and become leaders and entrepreneurs in business, community development, education and politics.