- 2017 Sessions
- 2017 Sponsors
- 2017 Speakers
Global Student Embassy (GSE)
Global Student Embassy is a youth leadership and environmental education organization founded in Sonoma County.
Global Student Embassy (GSE) was founded by brothers Lucas and Jasper Oshun in 2008 in Sebastopol to inspire young people to become environmental stewards, social innovators, and community leaders. In collaboration with international peers, students generate and implement powerful community-based solutions to shared ecological concerns.
GSE offers a comprehensive program of cultural exchange and project-based learning rooted in solving urgent ecological problems while building sustainable local and international communities. Across Northern California (Sonoma, Marin, Contra Costa & Santa Cruz), Ecuador and Nicaragua, GSE works with over 2,500 high school, university and middle school students as well as the educators and communities supporting their schools.
Organic school gardens and nature preserves serve as outdoor classrooms to develop students’ environmental literacy and project management skills. Through inquiry-based workshops, students gain an understanding of complex issues related to environmental justice, preservation/restoration, and sustainable agriculture as they relate to the local and global communities.
GSE’s annual reciprocal exchanges between the US and Latin America bring together young leaders to build relationships and represent their year round leadership programs. Our programs powerfully connect youth from different cultures to share values, strategies, and skills as they partner on local projects. Through collaboration students inspire one another by seeing that there are many other motivated young changemakers across the globe.
GSE programs catalyze individuals to become social entrepreneurs, grow the network of champions for environmental and social justice, and take action to restore our eco-systems.
Since 2008, GSE has engaged over 4,000 young leaders in developing and enacting projects to directly address urgent ecological issues. Together, GSE students from our partner communities have built 19 school gardens, produced over 18,500 pounds of produce for low-income community members, and reforested more than 30,000 native trees.
One of GSE’s biggest goals is to offset our carbon footprint, not only through the behavioral changes and learning that arise out of our local and exchange programs (these can be regarded as ‘soft offsets’) - but also to offset the negative environmental impact of transcontinental flights through reforestation (‘hard offsets’). GSE operates a major reforestation project in the highly degraded tropical dry forest near our partner community, Bahia de Caraquez. GSE aims to plant 25,000 native trees in 2015- 50 trees for every student traveler. In addition to off-setting GSE’s carbon footprint, we achieve other important impacts through our reforestation program: conservation of existing forests, restoration education in the community, jobs and skills training for locals, and the rehabilitation of the local habitat.