Gate 2015: Sowing the Seeds in the Next Generation

The Center for International Education’s Institute of World Affairs (IWA) at UWM has been working towards a goal of a heightened sense of awareness and understanding across communities and cultures through a shared learning experience of high school students who are emerging leaders in their own communities.

The goal of GATE or Global Action Through Engagement is to bestow an international perspective on global issues upon the next generation of activists, speakers, and educators. To plant the seed and watch it grow. Through various team building activities, creative trainings, lectures, debates, and a little bit of recreational fun, high school students developed techniques and ways of thinking that will assist them throughout their futures and enable them to effectively assist others for generations to come.

During the four day conference, a diverse group of students from all over the state stayed overnight in the UWM Sandburg Residence Hall to get a small taste of college life and to bond with one another, becoming a tight knit family in a short amount of time.

The staff and participants at GATE 2015 have committed themselves to hard work and dedication in the name of worldwide improvements, a willingness to learn and soak up any and every bit of knowledge possible in the given time, and a genuine attempt to leave a better person than when one arrived.

We provide a safe space for students of various backgrounds, from all different cultures and communities, an opportunity to have an honest, open dialogue on global and local issues, free of judgment and rich with understanding. Students who attend GATE have a priceless chance to learn and grow with different groups of people.

By encouraging and working with students who are already entering the program with so much knowledge and experience, we are simply molding the natural talents of an already amazing group. Their willingness to learn, make a difference, and step up and be leaders is what separates them from others. It is our hope that as they bloom into adulthood, their connections and awareness will have a ripple effect in their communities that will reach every corner of the world and beyond.

The GATE program is not the end result for these students, in fact we may never personally see the end result, but our goal is to plant and water the seeds to assist with the journey. In our ever-growing world, our portion of the growing process is complete for the year, but soon it will be Global Action season again and a whole new crop of brilliant minds and personalities will begin to blossom.

Here, at IWA, we are happy to shine a little extra light on to such a naturally bright group.

Until next year, and next growing season…


Written by Alexander Williams

A 3rd year undergraduate student at UWM majoring in Education. An aspiring social sciences and history teacher with an interest in humanitarian work and a passion for interconnected global issues. Excited to get the opportunity at IWA and to work with and help mold the mindsets of high school students.

Working with the future while working towards the future.

*Partially funded by a Title VI National Resource Center grant through the U.S. Department of Education.