Are You a True Student of the World?

I asked the leaders of Students of the Worldto answer a few questions so we could share their impactful story with you.Mission:

Students of the World (SOW) serves those who serve others by using media to shine a light on the progress of innovative groups working to solve the world’s problems.

By shifting focus from problems to solutions and empowering young people to use the tools they have at hand– media and technology– we envision a generation that redefines what it means to “give back” and places progress at the center of national dialogue.


Books that inspire Students of the World and why:

The most recent book that has inspired us is called Generation We by Eric Greenberg all about the incredible social and political power of the Millennial generation. Millennials are who we are and who we work with, so it is inspiring to read books that reinforce our desire and potential for social change.

How did Students of the World get started?

SOW started was a student organization at Duke University in 1999 by current Executive Director Courtney Spence.  Her vision was to create an organization where students had the ability to give back through through storytelling– to use media to make a powerful difference and contribute to the global community. If our generation is to become citizens of the world, we must also be students of the world. We need to study, understand, and share stories of how people are addressing issues in order to advance the progress being made in the world.

Why does the organization exist?

SOW provides a platform for teams of creative, talented college students to connect with innovative nonprofits. Our teams increase awareness and support for nonprofits by shining a light on the work that they are doing.


What type of person works for Students of the World? What type interns/serves?

Our staff, students, and alumni comprise a diverse, yet like-minded group. We have different talents and areas of expertise, but we all are passionate about using media to share stories of progress and highlighting positive change. Our team members are compassionate, creative, and globally-minded individuals who want to make a difference and believe that they can make it happen.

What are some of the non-profit literacy organizations you partner with?

While we have yet to partner with literacy-focused nonprofits, we have worked with organizations that have a holistic education and development model such as Telecurso, Tomorrow’s Youth Organization and the Broadmoor Improvement Association. Education is a key area of focus for SOW, and we would love to shine a light on the groups addressing literacy in innovative ways.

How many videos have you produced for organizations around the world?
Since we partnered with the Clinton Global Inititative in 2006, Students of the World has produced more than 75 videos for our partner organizations. The media packages we produce are tailored for each partner, so nonprofits often will receive a suite of videos of different lengths and different purposes.
How can people donate to/get involved with Students of the World?

As with many nonprofits, we are always seeking donations, both financial and in-kind, in order to support our programming and further our mission.  Financial donations can me made through our website and are tremendously helpful to our programming and operations. Since our programming involves a tremendous amount of travel, both domestic and international, donations of air miles are a very helpful way for someone to support SOW. Another way people can get involved is to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. We are expanding our reach and growing with new initiatives, so those are the best places to stay up-to-date on all things SOW. There are always many ways to support what we do and we appreciate any help that we can get!

Is there anything else you’d like to say about Students of the World?

2012 is definitely going to be a very big and exciting year for SOW as we are scaling our mission to increase the impact of the work that we produce and increase the number of individuals that become involved.  Donating, volunteering, “liking” us on facebook, or following on twitter are some of the ways that can support us in this objective and anyone can email info@studentsoftheworld.org for more information.


Do you have any questions for SOW or words of encouragement to share with their team? Are you involved with a non-profit and would like SOW to help you share your story? Comment below. 

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