Hamlin’s Global Citizen Summer

photo (13)A Global Citizen explores, engages, and discovers new parts of the world and new parts of themselves.  At Hamlin our faculty often spend their summers delving deeply into the global citizenship strands of Environmental Stewardship, Social Justice, Identity Formation, and Global Awareness and Communication.  I asked some of our teachers to share their experiences, here is what they said:

Working in Ghana:  Kathyrn Schoeberlein

I spent the summer living in Koforidua, Ghana, working with local teachers and students helping to build curriculum based around U.S. educational standards and focused on creating global connections. We looked specifically at the dynamics of gender equality in Ghana and the United States, current trends and issues affecting both of our countries (environmental concerns, health and wellness for students, etc.) and brainstormed new methods for creating change in both of our countries. I had the opportunity to meet with U.S. Embassy officials and local Ghanaian government ministers and visit various rural and urban schools in an attempt to learn more about the culture and educational system of the nation. I also had a chance to live with a local Ghanaian teacher and her family, which provided insight into the daily lifestyle and challenges faced by Ghanaian educators.

Exploring Climate Change in Yosemite:  Karen Brown

I did some backpacking in Yosemite and enjoyed some time off trail near the Lyell glacier in Yosemite. (Mt. Lyell is the tallest peak in Yosemite) Comparing a famous photograph of the glacier (see link below) from the 1901, to today, is striking and moving, the diminished ice coverage is extreme.


Discovering Conservation on the Island of Crete:  Cyndera Quackenbush

This summer I visited the island of Crete during the height of the economic difficulties facing Greece. Amidst this difficulty, however, I was amazed to discover a relaxed and welcoming people. On many places on the island I was able to encounter ruins of the Minoan civilization. An incredible storyteller guide, named Pavlos, brought to life the ancient ways of this Goddess worshiping culture. He showed me how even in the designs of their art and architecture the Minoans gave special care to appreciating and preserving everything they gathered from the Earth (i.e. rows of channels carved in their room of vats containing olive oil, so that in case one broke the oil could be preserved).  The overall experience inspired me as I return to San Francisco and face the variety of conservation issues that California is dealing with (including that of water shortage). It is my hope to improve and inspire a greater care for our precious resources with Hamlin students.

Preserving Great White Sharks:  Caitlin Brisson

I spent some time volunteering with the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, helping them with a few of their White Shark projects concerning tourism at the Farallones and its impact on shark populations.  I also worked on forming a joint White Shark sanctuary with Guadalupe Island in Mexico, including science outreach.

For more information please visit:


Hamlin Girls in Costa Rica:  Alison Trujillo and Mallory Powers

Our Costa Rica trip included all four of our Global Citizenship strands. We had a great trip! The girls enjoyed learning about CEN CINAI, where they volunteered with buildings and grounds and in the kindergarten classroom. They were immersed in the local culture, which included a ton of Spanish practice with us and with their homestay families. They developed an appreciation of the biodiversity of the area, and more knowledge about local animals and plants. They also had a lot of meaningful thoughts and conversations about themselves as United States citizens and also as citizens of the world. I know they are bringing this experience into their everyday life here in California.

For more information please visit:


Discovering Southeast Asia:  Katie Haylon

This summer I traveled around southeast Asia. I went to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia and Australia. Myanmar just opened it’s borders to tourism and was a great experience. We trekked through 40 miles of rice fields over the course of 3 days. We stayed with families in their homes and ate our meals with them. This was the most authentic non-touristy thing we did and it was amazing.

A Civil Rights Journey:  Heather Smith

Penny Wheelock award recipient Heather Smith journeyed to the south to visit places connected to the Civil Rights Movement.  Heather visited sights and museums in Washington, DC, Memphis, Birmingham, and Selma.  Her trip brought her into direct contact with people and locales that deepened her already profound understanding of social justice work in the United States.




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