Community Service and Student Service Learning
WCIE organizes programs that connect Washington, D.C.’s international community to the local community through community service, and learning experiences that inspire participants to come together to address the world’s most pressing challenges.
Community service programs welcome participants of all ages to engage in volunteer activities to help others. For high school students, Student Service Learning (SSL) programs provide an opportunity to engage in active learning experiences that develop communication skills, build understanding, and address real-world problems.
Our programs are internationally-oriented and designed to inspire. We look forward to welcoming you — or a family member — to our programs! Many of our students have an international background of some sort, but local students without an international background are also very welcome to join our programs. We all need to come together to address these issues, and we think that both American and international students benefit from each other’s perspectives.
Our Student Service Learning (SSL) Programs
Our world presents remarkable opportunities but also formidable challenges. Our programs encourage young people to be confident that their generation can confront those challenges.
Youth Facing Racism
Youth Facing Racism addresses America’s longstanding and pervasive struggle with racism. The program invites teens to examine these issues more deeply than they typically experience in school curriculum. Participants come together for a service project completed in a moving environment–at Corhaven Graveyard, a historical burial ground for African-Americans who were enslaved in Shenandoah County, Virginia. (12 SSL credit hours, next session beginning during the week of September 20, 2021)
Very well conducted, with skillful facilitators and carefully planned out lesson materials. (Caedy L., Singapore)
The strength of this program was how it encouraged students such as myself to take initiative and advocate for social justice campaigns they were passionate about. In addition, students were able to develop necessary argumentative skills and had practical experience working with other teams to come up with a common-ground solution. — Sayeda H., US/Pakistan
Youth Facing the Global Refugee and Migration Crisis
Our Youth Facing the Global Refugee and Migration Crisis program explores migration patterns that challenge societies around the world. This program weaves together a diplomacy simulation and a student advocacy project, to encourage teens to consider the global origins of refugee and migration patterns as well as the practical human needs of refugees and immigrants. (Eight SSL credit hours, upcoming session beginning September 27, 2021, and additional dates to be announced.)
Helps raise awareness on sensitive topics going on in the world, helps prepare people for life lessons, in the sense that we are learning how to advocate. (Nicole K., Kenya)
By having discussions and making situations that are realistic as if actual ambassadors would encounter, it was a great experience for me to see how actual representatives would act. (Yumin L., South Korea)
Youth Facing the Global Freshwater Crisis
Our Youth Facing the Global Freshwater Crisis program addresses one of the world’s principal environmental challenges. A diplomacy simulation calls attention to how these issues require collaboration that crosses borders, and a student advocacy project invites participants – in the U.S. and internationally – to think about both global and local aspects of freshwater policy problems. (Eight SSL credit hours, Fall/Winter program dates under consideration)
The program facilitators were very encouraging and extremely nice. The material used for the program including documents, real-life examples, and sources were very well put together and useful. (Phillipe E., US)
The many students of international background were the main strength of the program. Each brought a different outlook on the issue and unique solutions. (Maximilian P., US)
Certification. All WCIE SSL programs are designed to qualify for SSL credit by the Montgomery County Public Schools. Students in other public schools or in private schools may also be eligible for community service or SSL hour credit. Ask your school’s community service or SSL coordinator if your school will recognize these programs for SSL or community service credit hours.