As we kick off the new year, we want to reflect on our pilot program for DC high school students. The Diplomatic Leaders Development Program (DLDP), launched in 2021, exposes high school students to international affairs through education, opportunity, and social capital. While 2021 was a whirlwind with COVID-19 and other global events, we successfully completed 4 DLDP virtual sessions hosting students, speakers, and mentors from various backgrounds.
Topic sessions covered an introduction to international relations, humanitarian work, and college readiness. Over ten speakers and mentors in fields such as medicine, technology, government relations, non-profit, business, and education spoke to our students from McKinley Technology High School and Ron Brown College Preparatory High School. According to NAFSA: Association of International Educators, the percent of Black/African-American students who studied abroad in the 2019-2020 school year was 5.5% compared to 70% of Caucasian students. Our solution to this data includes the following: 1) provide students with the necessary skills, cultural sessions, and international projects to become global citizens, 2) connect students to internationally-focused mentors such as graduate students, industry leaders, and business owners; and 3) give students a voucher to apply for their first passport and the opportunity to travel to Guatemala and complete community service. By introducing students to industry professionals and international topics, we strive to expose students to diverse entry points into international affairs.
A huge thanks to all of our supporters this past year, including speakers, students, parents, teachers, mentors, and board members. And a special shoutout to our co-founders, interns, fellow, and partners. We couldn’t have accomplished everything if it wasn’t for your help. Check out the following photos of our students, speakers, mentors, co-founders, and fellow from our Saturday sessions.
If you would like to support Diplomatic Perspective, visit https://www.diplomaticperspective.world/donate. Or visit https://www.diplomaticperspective.world/contact to sign-up and participate as a speaker or mentor in 2022.
 NAFSA: Association of International Educators (2021). Trends in U.S. Study Abroad.https://www.nafsa.org/policy-and-advocacy/policy-resources/trends-us-study-abroad.