What Does CCWA Mean to You?
To some, CCWA means a community of internationally aware and engaged citizens. To others it is a way to empower students, a resource to international information, or a partner in international initiatives. Over 2,500 people engage with CCWA each year through our international visitor programs, speaker series and education programs. We would like to let our members, volunteers and friends tell you in their own words what CCWA means to them:
Andrea Lau, CCWA Intern
“As an undergraduate college student, it’s pretty hard to try to experience the world and meet people from different cultures while you’re tied down with school most of the year. But interning with CCWA’s International Visitors Program has allowed me to meet fascinating individuals from countries across the globe, learn their stories, and to share what I love most about Cleveland. “Citizen diplomacy” isn’t just a phrase to me, it embodies what I love most about CCWA. I get to have a part in representing the U.S. to foreign visitors, and I’ve been able to meet some of the most inspiring humans I’ve ever had the privilege to interact with.”
Aaron Kofsky, Model UN Student
“Education is more than just a notion or an idea to me. It means that CCWA has helped to broaden my perspective on global affairs and open my eyes to issues that I would have never learned about myself. ” Aaron Kofsky, senior at St. Vincent St. Mary High School and one of the ten students in CCWA’s newly established Student Advisor Committee on Model UN, has been a passionate participant in the Model UN program for four years.
Jessica Ice, CCWA Member and Volunteer
After living in Europe, Jessica was looking for an internationally-minded community in Cleveland and found just that at CCWA. She hosts international visitors at her home and serves as a professional resource for CCWA’s international visitors at the Federal Reserve Bank, where she works. She enjoys the diversity CCWA is able to offer. Jessica is also a frequent attendee of CCWA’s speaker programs. “CCWA is a wonderful organization that connects local citizens to international activities and provides new perspectives on the world.”
Stacey Jennings, Model UN Teacher
Stacey Jennings, a Model UN advisor from Berea Middle School, was introduced to the Model UN program two years ago. She attended CCWA’s Boot Camp, a training session for Model UN teachers and students. Ms. Jennings and her students were hooked. “The Model UN program has opened up a part in my students that I had never seen before. It has given my students so much confidence,” she says. “Model UN connects what they are learning at school back to the real world. It challenges the students and makes them see how we are connected to the rest of the world.”
Bill and Paulette Hughes, Members and volunteers
Bill and Paulette first got involved with CCWA through speaker programs: “We really enjoy getting international information directly from knowledge-able people that is not filtered by the news media.” Over the years their family has engaged with a variety of CCWA programs: their son participated in CCWA’s Model UN program, they hosted international visitors from Mexico to Kyrgystan, and Bill is an active member of CCWA’s Cleveland Committee on Foreign Affairs forum.
Linda McHugh, Board Member
The Cleveland Clinic is a truly global community with staff and patients representing multiple nationalities. CCWA Board member and Cleveland Clinic executive Linda McHugh explains that “The Clinic participates in CCWA’s international visitor programs because it offers the Clinic staff an opportunity to experience the world right here in Cleveland.” Clinic professionals are able to share their expertise with the visitors, but also to hear what is important in health and wellness around the world.
Sgt. Robert Forbes, Model UN Teacher
Sgt. Robert Forbes teaches Model UN at Cleveland’s Lincoln West High School. After seeing the world in the military, he is now helping his students become globally competent citizens through CCWA’s Model UN program. The opportunity to step in the shoes of a diplomat has increased his students communication skills and their global awareness: “Model UN really gets the students thinking internationally, and they become more globally aware.”
Michael Perrins, Director of International Programs at St. Edward High School
“Coming to St. Eds at a time when the school is branching out is quite exciting, and working with a gem of an organization such as CCWA has made the partnership wonderful.” says Michael Perrins, Director of International Programs. St. Edward High School has partnered with CCWA on the international visitor programs and Kosovo Youth Exchange Program, the two organizations are collaborating in starting an international Model UN conference in Cleveland and the school has become an academic member of CCWA and been an active CCFR participant.
Sally Ebling, Member and Volunteer
Sally Ebling first got involved with CCWA decades ago through her work at the Ohio State University. She enjoyed sharing her professional expertize with international visitors from around the world. After retiring from professional life, Sally has traveled the world on World Affairs Councils trips and enjoys CCWA’s programs on current world affairs. She actively attends the speaker series programs and is a member of CCWA’s Cleveland Committee on Foreign Affairs. “I really enjoy the international topics CCWA offers.”
Bulza Krajkova, Kosovo Youth Exchange Program Student
“When I first came to America, I was astonished with everything that was around me. So I promised myself that I will try my best to take this positive vibe with me when I go back to Kosovo. During the past nine months I have learned more than I could have ever imagined and that helped me to have a better perspective of my own country.” Bulza has spent the 2014-15 school-year studying at an American high school and living with a local family.