Moving Back to Jamaica

A blog about my Move Back to Jamaica after 20+ years of living in the US. Most of the articles focus on the period from 2005-2009 when the transition was new, and at it's most challenging.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ja Students: Spending a Summer Abroad

My sister wrote the following for Jamaican students who might be interested in spending a summer abroad. She is representing an organization that has a _very_ unique programme.

Introducing GLA international summer programmes to teenagers who think big

You may or may not know, but one of the reasons that I am in Jamaica, is to introduce a 3 week international summer programme for 15 - 18 year olds, held annually in Costa Rica, Ghana, India, South Africa and Brazil. Due to the timing of my trip however, it has been a bit difficult to reach many teenagers collectively. Therefore I am trying to reach as many parents of 15 - 18 year olds via service organizations and professional networks, and through my own personal networks. You have received this because you have been identified as a potentially interested parent, by your peers, or by me, or as someone with access to potentially interested teenagers and/or their parents. I am asking that you pass on this email to groups that reach parents of teenagers, or people who are parents or who are in contact with teenagers.

I am introducing this programme to Jamaica because I am a Jamaican whose path was altered when I was introduced to international exchange programmes as a teenager at St. Andrew High, and ended up spending a year abroad in Spain. As a result, I am incredibly passionate about giving our children access to international experiences that will push them to become forward-thinking young people and leaders. I currently live in South Africa, and have also lived in Ghana and the US.

For parents who want their children to think big.
You probably want your children to think big. That is, bigger than Jamaica, bigger than the country(ies) that they are routinely exposed to through the media, and bigger than the country(ies) that they may have visited with you in the past. You may also be thinking that it’s time for them to step out on their own, and experience a country outside Jamaica, on their own terms and in a more meaningful way than through a tourist visit. The tourist visits undoubtedly spike their curiosity, but now it’s time to go a step further. You are probably thinking that it’s time for them to engage in a meaningful summer programme that will enable them to become ‘switched on’ young people with a more mature view of issues and the world.

Introducing Costa Rica, Ghana, Brazil, India and South Africa to your child
Global Leadership Adventures is a 3-week programme designed for 15-18 year olds in these 5 countries. It is a programme designed to expose you children to another country in a meaningful way, and to equip teenagers with the kind of skills that will fine tune their thinking and leadership skills as teenagers. It will undoubtedly raise their social, cultural and political awareness, and make them much more globally savvy, in a world in which global thinking counts for a lot.

Global Leadership Adventures – professionally founded and organised
I do not work with GLA programme full time. Rather, I am introducing the programme because I believe in it, and so that people can associate a name and face with a programme which they may only have seen on the web or heard about through New York Times or other media channels.

Living in Spain for a year between 5th and 6th form, was, without a doubt, one of the single most defining experiences for me. While at university and graduate school in the US, I read applications from prospective students and talked with fellow students, and realized that participation in international programmes such as GLA counts for a great deal on university applications when applicants present their equally strong grades.

I’m introducing the programme so that Jamaican teenagers can have another life choice at their fingertips.

GLA’s head office is based in California, and the parent organization in outh Africa that first ran the programme was founded by a Ghanaian counterpart of mine. He has had personal experience in education and international programmes, experience in the US university and graduate school environment (and knows what it takes to succeed there), and professional experience in top international companies where leadership and global exposure carry tremendous weight.

You can find out more about the programme at Its worth having a look if you’re even mildly curious. The website is incredibly comprehensive, carrying videos, and testimonials written by teenagers who have previously gone on the programme, and carrying information about fees and the application form.

Should you wish to learn more about the programme from me, I am happy to speak with you while I am here in Jamaica for the Christmas holidays. I am here until January 14, and am wiling to follow up with you or a group of parents or teenagers, should you be keen. My contact details are all below.


Ruth Wade Kwakwa

Introducing GLA to teenagers who think big

Ruth Wade Kwakwa

Contact numbers in Jamaica - 5 Dec 2007 to 13 January 2008
Mobile - (876) 504 0532
Contact number in South Africa
Mobile - (27 83) 494 7686



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