Global Learners Initiative helps open students’ eyes to what is going on in the world

The GLI logo

The GLI logo

Senior Lani Quach has a lot going on in her life. She is very busy and has little free time, yet she has still taken part in the Global Learners Initiative (GLI).

“[GLI] is a club that’s purpose is to enrich the community and help expand people’s understanding of different cultures and communities,” Lani said. “It’s really here to help students address and explore the issues of race and inequality in our community.”

GLI helps students to be more aware of what is going on in the world. It can be very eye-opening to learn about how different things are in other places.

Freshman Keegan Redmond has been working in relation with GLI since third grade. He has had plenty of experience, but being part of the club that the school offers is a completely different experience than his past ones.

“I went to the [Fine Arts Center] and had a training to help third graders understand and use GLI in their own life,” Keegan said. “We [talked] about other cultures and people that are different from [us] and how [we] can understand them and their differences and embrace them in the best way possible.

After lunch, we all line up in the large lobby of the FAC and just do stretches and activities to get us energized for the next discussions. It’s so fun being able to just play around with both other high schoolers and younger kids.”

— Lani Quach

At GLI, they talk about what is going on in the world and whether certain things are right or wrong, as well as things that are going on in the world that can lead to stress. Mental health is also something focused on at GLI. It is important for people to be happy and feel safe, and this club provides a space for that.

Another thing about GLI is that it establishes relationships. It is important to have friends that come from all different backgrounds, and because GLI does workshops with many people, the participants are able to build friendships with different types of people.

“Definitely the district workshops [are my favorite part of GLI],” Lani said. “These interactive sessions help me build not only my collaboration skills, but also my leadership, and it’s really fun being able to interact with students from other schools.”

The GLI club goes to a lot of workshops, most of which are with Northern and Eastern, and they have a lot of fun and learn so much. They get to interact with new people and try new activities to broaden their gaze on how they look at the world.

“My favorite memory from GLI is definitely just every time we’re at a workshop,” Lani said. “After lunch, we all line up in the large lobby of the FAC and do stretches and activities to get us energized for the next discussions. It’s so fun being able to just play around with both other high schoolers and younger kids.”

The workshops are a highlight of GLI for most students because of getting to teach younger kids and hanging out with older ones.

People start going to GLI for many different reasons. Sophomore Ellory Zietz took a class called Lead the Way in seventh grade, and that was really the reason she is into GLI.

“I got into it by joining the class [Lead the Way] when I was in seventh grade,” Ellory said. “In the class, we focused a lot on diversity and a lot of inequalities around the world and learning about that. One of the activities I remember we did was [looking] at people of color or women who were being elected [for senator]. I went to a workshop this year in the fall, and we learned about how different people live in different parts of the world and how that’s different from us.”

Taking the class in middle school got Ellory interested in GLI and looking at the different ways people live. Lani, however, was roped into joining GLI by a friend, but she doesn’t regret it.

“Initially, I joined because a friend had joined,” Lani said, “but really it was about being able to expand my horizons and get a better understanding of other communities besides my own. Hearing Mrs. Felton speak on all these different topics is really interesting, and I encourage everyone to attend at least one meeting because it’s truly really eye opening.”

Having friendships already established among people in GLI can lead to meeting new people. Although GLI mostly focuses on worldly problems, they also make an effort to have a welcoming community among the group.

It’s hard to pick just one thing I love about GLI from the amazing and accepting people,” Keegan said. “Also, the messages and topics that GLI talks about are always so eye opening, no matter how much information I thought I already knew. GLI never fails to open my eyes and makes me a better person. It’s very important in life to listen to other people and always be willing to learn and grow, and I think GLI does that to everyone, no matter who. So to answer the question, my favorite part of GLI is the way it makes the world a better place and not only accepts people’s differences but embraces them.