Garrett Gravesen and Kevin Scott

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/22/art.gravesen.scott.jpg

caption="Garrett Gravesen and Kevin Scott started the Global L.E.A.D. program to help students study abroad."]

Let’s be honest, if a college student tells his parents he wants to go travel abroad without much structure, mom and dad might have nightmares of drunken nights and gallivanting down the streets of Europe with their credit card. I came across Garrett Gravesen’s idea to change that at the “Power 30 Under 30” awards in Atlanta earlier this year. He and his business partner, Kevin Scott, are trying to tap into college students’ basic desire to go overseas and put something impressive on their resumes while helping those who are less fortunate, with their new initiative, Global L.E.A.D. Program.

It takes a lot of chutzpah to say JFK’s vision of the Peace Corp didn’t go far enough, but these guys truly believe they can bring global youth service into this century. They took 100 days to travel Africa to see how they could impact education there without implementing an actual curriculum that they believe too often encourages students to focus on the grade, tangible success or goal rather than the raw abstraction of giving back.

Global L.E.A.D. has a pilot program in the summer of next year in Cape Town, South Africa. Its methodology stems from a Wikipedia-style learning model. If it works, who knows? Perhaps more students could find that education doesn’t only happen inside the classroom or through an internship.

Update: Watch the CNN.com Live interview

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15 Responses to Garrett Gravesen and Kevin Scott

  1. Denise says:

    I would like to know if the qualifications will change? I did not have a degree or the experience they were looking for a few years ago when i apllied. So of course i was not accepted. At the time i felt i was smart and mature enough and now so even more, but still do not have a degree. i dont believe you need a degree or whatever else to lend a helping hand and help people that need it the most!!!

    Thanx,
    Denise

  2. Deanna says:

    I agree with Denise, I too tried volunteering my services to the peace corp only to be denied because I didn’t have a degree. Unfortunately having the passion to help other people wasn’t enough. I hope you guys change the qualifications. Many intelligent people drop out of college for various reasons and they go on to become very successful people..I understand that it takes a certain type of person to commit to this type of work. I just hope you guys take passion into consideration as well. Best of luck with your ventures.

  3. Linus Jackson says:

    We need to stop sending inexperienced idealists overseas. We do a disservice to the people we want to help. The locals have more knowledge than the recent college grad. Just because they are not white does not mean they are ignorant.

    We should provide incentives for trained, experienced professionals to travel overseas in the middle of their careers – it will improve global relations. The Peace Corps should focus on recruiting people with at least 5 years of work experience, not fresh college grads.

  4. Stephanie says:

    I have lived abroad and worked in developing countries, including as a Peace Corps Volunteer. While I think service should be promoted, the author should explore this program more and provide greater details to help us understand what this group does exactly.

    100 days may be enough time to positively affect the Americans on these trips, but the key to development is sustainability and in the100 days, I am doubtful of the impact these students will have long-term.

    I don’t think these men are really innovative — many programs exist already where you can perform service abroad. Maybe the innovation is that they plan to make money off of it. That’s not worth recognizing as a “rocking” example, in my experience.

  5. Matthew Bagley says:

    If this idea is put forth, and ends up shaping into reality. Where might someon inquire as to becoming a part of a “New Peace Corps?’” I’ve been wanting to join the Peace Corps for some time now, but the application process is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had deal with.

    Thanks,

    Matthew B (Statesboro, GA)

  6. Michael Montoya says:

    Bravo! I meet Young People Who Rock every day. Dozens of them helped me capture the spirit of YPWR in this video.

    College students, parents, workers, church goers, lay health advocates, community workers, local and gobal, from all walks of life.

    Bravo on this series CNN! And keep at it Nicole Lapin!

    Michael
    Irvine, CA

  7. Brosef Stenid says:

    As a dedicated YPWR viewer, I just want to compliment Nicole Lapin on her interview with Garrett and Kevin. Nicole struck the perfect balance between showcasing Global Lead, while still asking appropriate, tough, and honestly perfectly logical questions regarding the organization. Great job Nicole!

  8. Jack says:

    I was extremely impressed with these two young men, Garrett and Kevin!

    As usual, Nicole did a great job interviewing, asking the tough questions, trying to poke holes in this program and address the potential problems, but they answered each concern with class and charisma!

    Good luck in Cape Town!

  9. Anne Richards says:

    On Global LEAD: Good idea, but going to other countries to help out wasn’t just with the Peace Corps. There were plenty of others who went by themselves and got jobs teaching English or helping with water projects or other help needed. I took a job with a reliable teaching center to teach conversational English in Seoul, S. Korea. I have never had a better job. I traveled the country, made many friends and had the experiences of twenty life-times! I went by myself and was 56 years old, rented a room from a wonderful Korean woman whose husband was trying to earn a living in the States, and made wonderful friends–knowing no one when I got there! You need to live there, living the same way the people live. You need to stay longer than a year. You need to tough it out and take a lot of interesting surprises! For my job, I needed a college education, but I knew other westerners who didn’t have that and were working and living there. I am now 75 and I probably wouldn’t be able to take the Buddhist Temple subway steps, or I would go back to the most wonderful job I ever had in my entire life! Conversational English didn’t require any tests or paperwork, but we still worked hard.

  10. Koba Tchegoun says:

    Cool
    Nice action But we are waitting you in Senegal and Benin
    Let’s rock new challenge
    Thanks and happy new year

  11. Ram Abubakar Muhammad says:

    The Global LEAD program is not a myth, i am Ram From Uganda, East Africa, meet Kevin and Gareth (G.G) at a conference in Brazil, they trained hundreds of leaders in a unique way which left people yearning for more, when i approached them, they said we are having a program that we will be running through Africa and do not worry, we will come to your Country soon, indeed soon was soon that happy reunion with Kevin and G.G, they came with an amazing team and we organized a seminar where they inspired and motivated many University students and to date we are proud of the hundreds of hearts they touched in just that one day event, To the Whole team that traveled to Uganda, Thank you and may God Bless you all…………..

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  14. S Callahan says:

    I remember the Peace Corp well……I wanted to be an Albert Schwitez (sp) girl…….this is a good thing……and certainly holds to the theme of Obama’s campaign of giving ourselves to others. Nice work!

  15. Ariel Ruiz says:

    to miss Phalyn perry:
    I want to say thanks for you will make a difference… Keep the Faith in what is right.. It is because you recieved the truth and stopped believing the Lie , that you become free.. For the thuth will set you Free…as the bible states.. God bless you, Ariel

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