Global Scholars Initiative Home Academics Upper School (Grades 9-12) Global Scholars Initiative

The Global Scholars Initiative (GSI) provides students interested in focusing on international studies an opportunity to do so in a structured way, supported by Shorecrest faculty members and other resources in our community.

Through the study of world cultures and the acquisition of advanced language skills, participants in the program will gain an appreciation for the significance of human choices upon the planet and all of its inhabitants. In essence, it allows students to “major” in international studies during their high school years. The better understanding of global issues gained by participants will serve as foundational knowledge from which they may make informed choices as responsible world citizens. Students successfully completing GSI requirements earn a special endorsement on their diplomas attesting to their work.

The GSI includes enhanced academic opportunities, attendance at local events with a global focus both as a group and as individuals, participation in foreign travel experiences, and completion of an independent study project on a global topic of their own choosing under the tutelage of faculty and community members.

Students in Grades 9-11 are eligible to apply for this program. Required courses are listed in the most recent Upper School Course Catalog.

GSI Handbook

The Mission

The Global Scholars Initiative encourages students to accept the challenges of global citizenship. Through the study of world cultures and the acquisition of advanced language skills, participants in the program gain an appreciation for the significance of human choices upon the planet and all of its inhabitants.

The Process

Collaborating with both a mentor and their peers, students will benefit from classroom and experiential learning opportunities as they grapple with the complicated issues of an increasingly interconnected world. Through an enhanced range of curricular and co-curricular experiences, students in the Global Scholars Initiative will gain first-hand knowledge of contemporary global peoples, cultures, challenges and achievements.

Guest Experts

GSI students convene with on- and off-campus guest speakers (who are experts in their respective fields) to share insights and engage in Q&A sessions on a wide range of global topics.

Some GSI Speakers included:

  • Dr. Luz Nagle, Stetson University of Law
  • Christo Brand, former prison guard and friend to Nelson Mandela
  • 2nd Lieutenant William Edmonds, Intelligence Officer - U.S. Army
  • Lauren Grimanis, Founder of The Akaa Project
  • Ernesto Marquez, Cuban émigré; lawyer
  • Benjamin Bartley, Senior VP for Marketing, BiC
  • BG Jens Prastegaard, Commander of the Coalition Forces at MacDill AFB
  • Prof. William Felice, Eckerd College
  • Prof. Jason Palmer, Stetson University of Law
  • Ryan Hauck, film collaborator (Sweet Crude)
  • Lt. Commander Richard Witt, Navy SEAL
  • Chloe Vega, Selah Freedom’s Teen Prevention Program Leader

The GSI Project

In addition to specific course requirements for GSI (outlined in the Course Catalog) each GSI student completes a long-term, independent study project on a topic of choice approved by the GSI Board, working with a wide array of resources. The finished projects will be presented to other GSI participants, the GSI Board, and other interested members of the Shorecrest community during fall semester of senior year.

A Sampler of Prior GSI Student Project Topics:

  • International Museum Education: The Louvre, The Met in NYC, and the Dali
  • The Role of Varian Fry in Holocaust Rescues
  • The Chocolate Trade and its Effects on the Environment and Child Labor in West Africa
  • HIV / AIDS: International Attitudes
  • PTSD in Civilian Wartime Populations
  • Building a Charitable Partnership with a School in Chennai, India
  • Global Branding: Two Case Studies
  • Saving an Orphanage in the Dominican Republic


Mentoring will bring all of the above together. Shorecrest teachers and GSI students will work and learn together. Community Time and Consultation create regular opportunities for meeting together, for doing research, and for reaching out to community resources as students prepare their independent study projects.

GSI Application Process

  • Students will be sent a GSI application at the end of their ninth grade year
  • Students will attend an interview with the GSI Board at the beginning of their tenth grade year
  • Application decisions will be sent to students by late September of their tenth grade year

Who to Contact

Kayla Brazee
US Social Studies Department Chair, Director of Evening Charge, GSI Director
[email protected]

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