Message of Purpose for Students Shoulder to Shoulder
Students Shoulder-to-Shoulder is founded on a simple concept: for the next generation of secondary school students to be effective global citizens, they need direct experience engaging their intellects, curiosity, and senses of obligation by working with organizations that are in the field, addressing fundamental issues related to endemic poverty. Guided by bright, globally-minded course instructors, we believe that these experiences are inherently creative, energetic, idealistic, and bold enough to generate worldviews shaped by universal values of justice, responsibility, and compassion. Our purpose remains to compel students from around the world toward a clear, hope-inspired vision of how to confront what we call the paralysis of enormity – the futile feeling of looking at a global challenge that seems too big and too entrenched to even approach.
A parent of a recent SStS alumnus stated: “Participants in SSS are not on vacation. In less than desirable circumstances, participants are quickly assimilated into local culture, working in teams to improve the living condition of the local population. In addition, personal relationships between participants, residents, and staff are created, forming bonds that will last a lifetime.” This quotation reflects many parents' perspectives on our experiential program. When I combine it with this parent’s anonymous feedback, “my child came home more reflective and thoughtful regarding our world and her place in it,” I move forward with confidence that the limits of Students Shoulder to Shoulder are as boundless as the possibilities of this generation’s worldview.
Robert A. Bandoni
“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.”
Robert F. Kennedy
Students Shoulder to Shoulder's (SStS) mission is to inspire high school students to engage in responsible global citizenship through on-line study, full immersion service programs, and public presentation.
Yet, when you learn of SStS's philosophical underpinnings, its educational programming, and its economic structure, you will appreciate that its purpose is profoundly more than providing youth with an opportunity to do community service in other cultures, as noble as that might be.