Global Smarts Mentoring Program

"This year Global Smarts was amazing, and one word I would use to describe it to a friend would be ‘life-changing’.  What I like the most about participating in Global Smarts is that I was able to meet new people and learn new things about my assigned country.  Global Smarts taught me that in different parts of the world there are so many problems that I usually wouldn’t think about.”
— 8th Grade Student, St. Rose of Lima School

The Global Smarts Mentoring Program is a grant-funded, rigorous global literacy tutoring program that pairs college-level student mentors from Saint Joseph's University and Temple University with middle school students from under-resourced and low- to middle-income Philadelphia public, parochial and charter schools.  Through weekly individual and small-group instruction, mentors provide students with the fundamental knowledge and skills needed to confidently participate in the Council's annual, region-wide Jr. Model United Nations Conference.  Launched in 2012, Global Smarts unequivocally and markedly impacts students' enthusiasm for learning, expands their knowledge of world affairs, and sharpens their critical thinking skills and the competencies needed to understand and act on issues of global significance.

At weekly tutoring sessions, mentors work closely with students to fulfill key Jr. Model United Nations curriculum goals, including:

1. Researching a country’s history, culture, government, economy, etc.;
2. Thinking critically and creatively about an issue of global significance (e.g., water scarcity);
3. Writing a well-constructed position paper; and
4. Learning how to draft a policy resolution

Additionally, mentors coach students on oral and written advocacy skills (e.g., public speaking) focused on writing, debating and ultimately defending a final policy resolution, as well as learning to assume leadership roles in their regional blocs.

Global Smarts runs annually from January to May and requires mentors to commit up to ten hours each week working both in- and outside of the classroom under the collective training and supervision of the Council’s Education Department staff and an assigned university faculty member. Mentors earn course credit for their successful completion of the program.

During the 2019-20 academic year, Global Smarts will serve 160 students from 10 schools across the Greater Philadelphia region, including: 

A.M.Y. at James Martin School
A.M.Y Northwest Middle School
Blessed Trinity Regional Catholic School
Cook-Wissahickon Elementary School
Gesu School
Hope Partnership for Education
New Foundations Charter School
Shawmont School
St. Gabriel Middle School
St. Mary's Interparochial School

The Global Smarts Mentoring Program has an application process that open to interested schools on an annual basis.  Please contact the Council's Global Smarts Program Director, Eric Bumbaca at (215) 561-4700, ext. 216 for additional information about the 2020-21 program.

Global Smarts is a 2020 Lindy Award Recipient

In June 2020, the Global Smarts Mentoring Program was awarded the Lindy Award for Excellence in K-16 Partnerships by the Philadelphia Higher Education Network for Neighborhood Development (PHENND).




Global Smarts in the News