Young People Learn How to Change the World on the Banks of Shawnigan Lake

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Dwight Global Leaders Academy Draws Students from Around the World for a Unique Social Entrepreneurship Training Program

Keith Middleton, of the hit musical Stomp, teaches students about creativity and collaboration at the DGLA. Mr. Middleton is just one of several mentors to participate in the program, along with voice

The DGLA was created to inspire and educate the next generation of global student leaders.

This summer, while many ambitious high school students are improving their athletic abilities or pursuing their musical interests, more than 50 young people from around the world are coming together to learn how to make the world a better place through the Dwight Global Leaders Academy.

This unique program, which began this year on July 27 and runs through August 10, is located at Dwight School Canada, an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School for boarding and day students in grades 6-12. The DGLA is specially designed for young people who not only want to learn, but also want to give back. Through an immersion curriculum that encompasses project management, team building, leadership training, collaboration, goal setting, fund raising and promotion, each participant will graduate with a tool kit to effectively plan, execute, and promote his/her own service project.

The DGLA was created to inspire and educate the next generation of global student leaders to take positive action in their local and global communities. It is an extension of the Dwight Schools, a global network of schools with additional campuses in New York, London, Beijing, and Seoul that share a commitment to igniting the “spark of genius” in every child. Dwight’s educational philosophy is built on three pillars: personalized learning, community, and global vision. The DGLA, which draws participants from all Dwight campuses and beyond, helps students to identify their passions and provides the practical skills they need to develop and implement meaningful public service projects. One recent DGLA graduate, Nielsen Dias, was recognized for his high-level commitment to serving others with two prestigious US Congressional Medals for Service.

“This is only our third year running the DGLA and the track record of our students has been phenomenal. After leaving the academy, over 80% of our attendees have launched initiatives that have directly impacted their communities,” said Graham Brown, PhD, Director of the Dwight Global Leaders Academy. “These have run the gamut from environmental initiatives to crime-preventing activities, and what they all have in common is that they’re manifestations of each student’s passion, which we at the Dwight Schools see as central components to success in education and life.” For more information on DGLA student projects, visit

Students at this year’s DGLA share the same passion for making a difference as their predecessors; for example, 17-year-old Balsa Medojevic who lived in Montenegro before receiving a scholarship to attend Li Po Chun United World College in Hong Kong. His goal is to help diffuse ethnic tensions in the Balkans by bringing young people together to collaborate on environmental sustainability projects. “Sustainability is an issue that crosses all ethnic and religious backgrounds, so developing collaborative, environmental programming is the perfect conduit to bringing different populations together – while also benefitting future generations,” said Balsa. “It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but I felt like I really needed guidance. Being at the Dwight Global Leadership Academy has given me that and so much more.”

For Shayda Swann, a student at Dwight Canada, the DGLA is helping her flesh out her plan to create a junior youth empowerment program right in her hometown of Mill Bay. Her goal is to provide kids ages 9-14 with the opportunity to participate in service projects, teaching them values and, hopefully, changing the potentially negative perceptions many can have of young people. “I’m very shy, but this experience has really changed me,” said Swann, who comes from a family of doctors and hopes to become a pediatrician. “I’m learning alongside such an amazing group of people and the exercises we’re engaging in here have given me skills that I didn’t have before.”

Daniel Cole, 17, a Floridian who will be a senior at Dwight School London this fall, found inspiration for his project from his love of photography and his growing fascination with community-building. His goal is to identify everyday people within his London community, photograph them, and find a public display space to tell their stories. “There are so many people we pass every day about whom we know nothing. Photocaptioning is a powerful way to highlight those who can often go unnoticed, and makes us look at people in our own community in a completely different way,” said Daniel, who plans to attend NYU.

The DGLA has consistently produced successful global leaders, with graduates attending such leading colleges and universities as Harvard, Yale, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, and Oxford. For more information, including how to apply, visit

More About the Dwight Global Leaders Academy
The Dwight Global Leaders Academy is a partnership between the Institute for Civic Leadership and the Dwight Family of Schools (, a worldwide network of educational organizations committed to global vision, community, and personalized learning, with campuses and programs in New York, London, Canada, Beijing, and Seoul.

Contacts:     Shonna Keogan, +1-917-660-7462, skeogan(at)dwight(dot)edu
         Christine Bater, +1-250-929-0506, cbater(at)dwightcanada(dot)org

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Laurie Silbersweig
Dwight School
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