"Gearing Up for Nobles' Global Partners" by Director of the Anderson/Cabot Center for EXCEL Ben Snyder
As the Nobles travel/cultural immersion and study away programs have been built, the fundamental principles driving those programs have been to collaborate with partners who share Nobles' values and with whom the partnerships will be mutually beneficial over an extended period of time. Each partnership has some unique characteristics - from school partnerships in Japan, China, France, and Spain where homestay and cultural immersion is the focus, to study away programs providing challenges in the mountains of Colorado, the city of New York, or the islands of the Bahamas. Our partnerships with schools and nonprofits in places as far afield as Romania to South Africa to Cambodia provide one-of-a-kind experiences for Nobles students and faculty - and also require meaningful contributions from the Nobles community so our partners can serve their missions.
Helping our students understand the challenges faced by our counterparts around the globe is critical to developing the kinds of empathy and ability to wrestle with complexity (and oftentimes failure) that Nobles students need. When Nobles teachers are with our students in those very unfamiliar environments questions often arise:
“How can such poverty and inequality exist?”
“How do so many people maintain their dignity in such difficult circumstances?”
“What can we do to help?”
As over 100 Nobles students and teachers prepare to depart in March to live, learn, share, and work in Alabama, New Orleans, South Africa, Romania, Cambodia, India and Rwanda, you will begin to hear of bake sales and raffles and other creative means for students to raise funds to donate directly to our partners (most of which are operated entirely through gifts). There will also be requests made for families to donate lightly used sports apparel and athletic shoes that will be transported to South Africa and Rwanda by Nobles students and be distributed directly to the young people whom our nonprofit partners serve. Having developed and led trips to both of those countries I can speak directly to the need - our partners at Kliptown Youth Program, Agahozo Shalom Youth Village and Shooting Touch all serve young people who (and I mean this literally) show up to these programs with no possessions other than what is on their backs and feet; and what Nobles students can bring to them makes a meaningful and significant contribution to their lives. If you read this at home take a minute - right now - to get up and set aside that extra pair of sneakers and a few pieces of lightly used athletic gear. Believe me, they will be well used and appreciated in ways that are hard to imagine.
As we enter into February you will hear more about the various ways our students will be working to help our partners here at home and overseas - and learn a little more about how the Nobles mission of “leadership for the public good” can be manifested.