Founded in 1999 by young leaders from both the USA and post-genocide countries like Guatemala and Bosnia-Herzegovina, Global Youth Connect advances human rights by empowering young activists from around the globe to meet face-to-face, exchange ideas and take action together in collaboration with grassroots NGOs, policy makers, and other stakeholders.


Global Youth Connect’s programs provide young leaders (ages 14-35) from a wide range of ethnic, national, economic and religious backgrounds with opportunities to learn more about human rights and enhance their ability to take action on pressing human rights issues.




Global Youth Connect's (GYC) mission is to advance human rights through cross-cultural programs for emerging leaders, focusing on post-genocide and post-violence countries.




20% of GYC alumni have founded a Human Rights related program, organization, or initiative since their delegation. For example, meet GYC Alumna Rebecca Davis -- MSNBC Foot Soldier empowering street children in Rwanda, Bosnia, and Guinea through dance. Learn more about the Rebecca Davis Dance Company here!And meet Elizabeth Dearborn Hughes, the founder and director of the Akilah Institute, recognized by Forbes  and many others as a pioneer in girls education. In 2013 Newsweek named Elizabeth one of the 125 "Women of Impact" in the world.







GYC has held over 30 programs in 8 countries, training over 600 youth to strengthen over 50 human rights organizations with over 650 projects, and issued over 50 reports.

GYC’s impact manifests itself not only in the future progressive lives and activities of our youth participants from around the world, but also in the human rights efforts of the grassroots organizations where our youth volunteer their time and skills, and in the actions of policy makers who get involved through our advocacy and sharing meetings.




Our educational methodology is drawn from a mixture of techniques and strategies used by the popular education movement. Our programs are highly interactive and experiential. We promote a “whole person” approach to leadership development as well as understand the importance of providing experiences for participants to connect with others in to engage in meaningful shared work. Our goal is to help young leaders learn about the ideas, concepts and strategies of human rights through engaging in meaningful dialogue, promoting critical analysis, encouraging self-reflection and fostering action






Using the Human Rights framework enshrined in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, GYC aims to:


  • Increase understanding among youth of both the theoretical and practical context of the human rights framework

  • Build the skills, knowledge and confidence of youth to raise awareness, take action and work collaboratively on projects to promote and defend human rights;

  • Facilitate meaningful dialogue, enable critical thinking and analysis of complex issues and encourage joint problem solving to address shared human rights concerns;

  • Foster personal and emotional growth by testing boundaries and limitations, reflecting critically on our own lives and cultures, exploring how the choices we make affect others;

  • Build strong personal connections and community among youth activists;

  • Provide positive outlets and opportunities for youth to work to promote human rights; 

  • Create, inspire and nurture both new and existing youth-led projects aimed at promoting and protecting human rights.



GYC Alumni currently hold jobs

in the field of Human Rights

GYC Alumni say GYC

program influenced their career trajectory in some way

Our programs serve a global community of youth and young adults, ages 15-35.  We support youth who are already established leaders in their community and who are looking for ways to strengthen their skills, expand their understanding, deepen the impact of social justice projects and build a network of supportive allies.

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Global Youth Connect

PO Box 1342

New York, NY 10159-1342


Copyright 2020 Global Youth Connect

GYC is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization