Smithsonian Student Travel and EF Education Announce the 2008 Global Citizens Essay Contest Winners


July 14, 2008

Girl Scouts of the USA
Michelle Tompkins

NEW YORK, N.Y. — Girl Scouts of the USA is pleased to announce the 18 winning entries in the 2008 Global Citizens Essay contest, sponsored by EF Educational Tours and EF's domestic division, Smithsonian Student Travel. This writing competition was designed to have girls reflect on how their Girl Scouting experience broadens their horizons and increases their cultural sensitivity. In recognition of their accomplishments, 12 girls won a trip to Washington, D.C., and six are off to Europe—specifically a trip to London and Paris—which will take place later this month.

"It is inspiring to see so many Girl Scouts not only embracing Global Citizenship, but also taking the time to write about their experiences to share with others," said Norma Barquet, Executive Vice President, Mission to Market, GSUSA. "We are very proud of our winners and hope that their journeys are stepping stones to lives full of exciting adventures where they explore the world and their own potential to make a difference."

Global Citizens Essay Contest Winners:

12-14 Years' Group

15-17 Years' Group

The Global Citizens Essay Contest was announced in January to all Girl Scout councils. The topic of Global Citizens was used to inspire the girls to understand and appreciate cultural differences and to instill this virtue in others. This writing contest was separated into two age groups. Twelve of the 12-14-year-olds won a four-day, all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., with Smithsonian Student Travel, which takes place on July 24, and six 15-17-year-old winners were awarded with a ten-day adventure to London, Paris and Switzerland with EF Educational Tours that began July 14.

About Girl Scout Global Citizen Essay Contest
This contest has two goals: to challenge girls 12-17 to consider their roles in the world through writing and to allow them to put their words into practice. The top 18 winners receive a free trip to Europe or Washington, D.C., with EF Educational Tours and Smithsonian Student Travel. Girls, ages 15-17, were asked to reflect on a cross-cultural experience they have had as a Girl Scout and describe how that experience inspired them to take action. Girls, ages 12-14, were asked to describe a Girl Scouting experience that has inspired them to become a Global Citizen. A Global Citizen is defined as a person who understands and appreciates cultural differences, and strives to instill this value in others. For the winners, the educational tour is not simply a reward for a job well done. It is a vehicle for developing ambassadors of global thinking and will provide them with an opportunity to have an impact on other Girl Scouts and the community at large. Contest deadline was March 31.

About EF Education
EF Education helps student groups "learn it by living it" as they experience firsthand the worlds' very best historic, cultural and natural sights. Every EF international tour includes flights, ground transportation, comfortable hotel accommodations, most meals and the guidance and support of a full time tour director. Find out more information on EF Educational Tours.

About Smithsonian Student Travel
Smithsonian Student Travel offers engaging and educational tours of the United States and Canada. Our tours bring classroom learning to life with hands-on activities enhanced by the Smithsonian Institution's renowned educational resources. All of Smithsonian Student Travel and EF Educational Tours are accredited. Find out more information on Smithsonian Student Travel.

About Girl Scouts
Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls with 3.6 million girl and adult members worldwide. Girl Scouting is the leading authority on girls' healthy development, and builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. The organization serves girls from every corner of the United States and its territories. Girls Scouts of the USA also serves American girls and their classmates attending American or international schools overseas in 90 countries. For more information on how to join, volunteer, reconnect or donate to Girl Scouts, call (800) GSUSA 4 U (800-478-7248) or visit www.girlscouts.org.