In July, Wo International Center marked the end of its 25th anniversary year with a celebratory toast at the President’s Home. Wo Center Director Chai Reddy noted that 2017 – 2018 was a milestone year that allowed Punahou to expand its global presence while also marking some important new directions for the center:
- Increasing global professional development opportunities for Punahou educators: Not only were there more visiting educators from schools in other countries such as Japan, Jordan, New Zealand and Sweden, but the center was more intentional about offering educator exchange experiences to Punahou faculty as a part of student travel to Japan, Sweden and New Zealand.
- Opportunities for Junior School students to have more global education experiences, especially those in the Omidyar Neighborhood and Kosasa Community.
- A greater focus on issues of diversity and equity and how these relate to global citizenship: While Punahou and Hawai‘i more broadly have the advantage of being more multiracial than other places, exploring the deeper impacts of diversity is still just as vital. Wo Center helped to organize a diversity conference for the island of O‘ahu this year, and also sent four Academy students to a student diversity leadership conference on the U.S. continent.
- The pursuit of global education as a kindergarten through life experience: Wo Center is exploring ways to provide seniors with internships and other professional experiences that will help them be successful in a global environment after graduation.
Following the toast, Wo Center supporters were invited to the annual Student Global Leadership Institute’s lū‘au, where they mingled with participating students and teachers from SGLI’s 22 participating schools from nine countries around the world. This year’s SGLI theme was social conscience, and Reddy reflected that it created rich opportunities for students to “have conversations around challenging ethical scenarios that might have different responses based on different cultural identities.”
25 Years of Global Education
Travel back to the founding of Wo International Center and see the unfolding of global education at Punahou in this retrospective video.