Global Smarts Mentoring Program

Registration for the 2022 - 23 academic year is now closed.

To add your school to an interest list for the 2023 - 24 school year, please contact Kate Whitman Kamara, Director of Education Middle School Programs, at

The Global Smarts Mentoring Program is a grant-funded, rigorous global literacy tutoring program that pairs college-level student mentors from area universities 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. Creating a well-constructed opening speech
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 2022-23 academic year, Global Smarts will serve 153 students from 7 schools across the Greater Philadelphia region, including: 

Cook-Wissahickon Elementary School
Gesu School
Hope Partnership for Education
New Foundations Charter School
Shawmont School
St. Mary's Interparochial School
Warren G. Harding Middle School

Interested in becoming a Global Smarts mentor? Reach out to Kate Whitman Kamara, Director of Education Middle School Programs, at or at 215-561-4700 ext. 216

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