About GV

Empowering young people to be socially and environmentally conscious global leaders.

Our Philosophy of Service

“If you have come to help me you are wasting your time. But, if you understand that your liberation is tied to mine, let’s work together.” – Lilla Watson, aboriginal woman

What We Do

Global Visionaries facilitates a multi-year youth leadership program with an emphasis on social justice and environmentalism. We work with a deliberately diverse group of high school students from the Greater Seattle area.

Through experiential activities, workshops, retreats, community service, and a two-week cultural immersion to Guatemala, GV prepares Seattle-area high school students to define and address environmental and social justice issues in their communities while developing as leaders and becoming more aware of their global citizenship.

First Year participants who complete the program are encouraged to join our Advanced Leadership program. Advanced participants lead their First Year peers through all aspects of the program, including though activities, retreats, as well as through service on GV’s Board of Directors.

We believe that truly empathetic leadership is best developed through interactions with a diverse group of peers. Thus, our goal is to recruit program cohorts made up of 50% youth of color and 50% white youth; 50% youth from families with a household income below the Seattle median household income and 50% youth from families with household income above the Seattle median household income.

Why it Matters

This transformative program deepens participants personal and global awareness and empowers them to be leaders of their peers.

Through the development of authentic cross-cultural friendships that extend beyond lines of race, class, and geography, both in Seattle and abroad, GV participants cultivate empathy and understanding for others. They learn that cross-cultural understanding is an invaluable and crucial skill set as a leader and citizen of our global community.

Through travel abroad, GV participants come to understand the interconnected nature of our world and realize how their actions have a global impact.

Our Impact

GV was founded in 1997 by two brothers, Joe and Chris Fontana. Since then…

Over 5,000 youth participants have participated in the program in Seattle and Guatemala.

38 schools have been built in Guatemala.

Over 587,000 hours of community service have been completed by participants in Seattle and Guatemala.

And, countless world views have been expanded, friendships have been developed and sustained, and youth have a better understanding of identities and personal power.

“It [my experience with GV] has made me want to create change in my community. It has made me want to travel and learn about all different types of culture. It has made me want to live a life where I am of service to others.” – Spring 2018 Participant