A message from our CEO

Watching and listening to the discussions around the U.S. over the last week, I have thought often about the young people who join us on our programs. As a Company, we deliver experiences that expand understanding, build connections between people, and help them see the world in new ways. Whether it is learning about how the government works, the history of civil rights, or the devastation of world conflicts in the U.S. and abroad, we help students journey through transformative experiences that can break down cultural barriers and prejudice. This generation of young people we see every year is increasingly open, thoughtful, and passionately committed to building a better world. They want change and they want it now.

I am troubled by the senseless loss of George Floyd and too many others before him. I am outraged by the invisible pain and stress inflicted on millions of families and individuals who suffer from discrimination on a daily basis. The divisions on display in the U.S. right now remind us that our history is complex and often ugly. We must face it and learn from it. We must create ways to build new connections and understanding. With travel paused around the world due to the pandemic, this spring has been an opportunity to think about how WorldStrides can emerge as an even stronger force for change. It starts by building an even more diverse and inclusive Company and finding better ways to reach an even greater diversity of program participants.  

Let’s be clear: while the fault lines of racism, poverty, and inequity have become more obvious in recent weeks, they have always been there.  Education may not be the only vaccine to cure the current social and economic pandemic but it definitely has a major role to play. We are part of the education ecosystem and re-commit our Company to helping our program participants learn, grow, listen, and connect. The journey will be long and hard, but the destination is fundamental. 

Bob Gogel
CEO and President, WorldStrides