Kristin Hayden

Ashoka Fellow
Seattle, United States
Fellow Since 2005
My work: helping minority youth become the next generation of global leaders through international learning.

Check out this video about Kristin Hayden's work



Related TopicsChildren & Youth, Non-formal education


This profile was prepared when Kristin Hayden was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2005.
The New Idea
To prepare youth for success in the 21st century, Kristin Hayden’s idea is to develop comprehensive after school global leadership programs, primarily for low-income and minority students who have historically lacked access to cultural exchange programs. Recognizing the economic and political significance of Asia and the Middle East, Kristin wants a broader cross-section of young Americans to learn the languages and to understand and experience the cultures of people in strategically important areas such as China and the Middle East. One World Now (OWN) students study languages (currently Arabic and Chinese) that are rarely taught in U.S. public schools; participate in leadership training; and experience situations—language immersion programs or travel abroad—where they can and must use their newly acquired language and leadership skills.
Kristin believes that mastering difficult languages and developing leadership skills builds the students’ confidence, changes the student’s worldview and individual outlook, and provides the students unique, marketable competencies. It also raises expectations for success among the youth, their teachers, families, and communities, encouraging youth who had limited aspirations to plan for college and careers. Kristin believes that by helping One World Now participants access internships, college, and additional study abroad programs many of these students will pursue careers and take leadership roles in international service and policy development, and that all of them will bring a new worldview to their families and communities.
Since the majority of One World Now students studying abroad are not Caucasian, they help break down stereotypes of “what it means to be American.” One World Now aims to open up international experience, foreign language proficiency and cultural competencies to the broad population of young Americans to lay the groundwork for increased cooperation with our global neighbors. Kristin believes that the first step is to develop a corps of future leaders who can help Americans work and live in harmony with people throughout the world.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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