Celebrating Student & Alumni Achievements of 2016


OneWorld Now! alumni served Thanksgiving dinner to Syrian refugees. Read the full story in the Seattle Times.

Dear friends and supporters,

While the end of 2016 seems full of questions about what to expect in 2017, one thing we know for sure is that we can take pride in our everyday work developing the next generation of global leaders.

Each year, our efforts to connect young people to the world through language and leadership produce new stories of achievement. We hope that you will join us in feeling proud and in celebrating the accomplishments of OneWorld Now! students and alumni. Their stories speak to the transformative power of international education and the importance of leadership training for social, emotional and intercultural skills.

Thank you for making these stories possible. Thank you for supporting our work.


Jennifer Tanaka, Executive Director


Left to right: Edmel celebrates her 100th day in Brazil with her classmates; Anna enjoys a city tour of Oman

Edmel Ronquillo, Student, OWN Class of 2017

Edmel, a senior of Cleveland High School, is taking a less traditional route for her final year of high school. She is spending her senior year studying in Brazil through the AFS-USA BP Global Citizens of Tomorrow scholarship. Edmel has been studying both Mandarin and Portuguese, and – if she lands the gap year scholarship she is applying for – then will be adding German to list. Edmel plans to use her language skills to provide translation services in medical settings; she wants to make healthcare more safe and accessible for immigrants.

Anna Brosius, OWN Class of 2013

Anna is a senior at American University, close to completing her bachelor’s degree in International Relations with a minor in Arabic. The Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center awarded Anna a full scholarship for the 2016 Summer Arabic Language and Media (SALAM) Program. Five weeks in Oman has given Anna a  deeper knowledge of Arabic and an introduction to Omani history and culture.


Left to right: Cesar with Senator Maria Cantwell; Wai proudly shows off the second volume of her publication

Cesar Garcia, OWN Class of 2013

2016 has been a busy year for Cesar. Now a senior at the University of Washington, Cesar  is very involved on campus and in the community. In 2016 he served as a Congressional Intern for Senator Maria Cantwell, was appointed a Gorton Global Leader by the National Bureau of Asian Research, and is currently a Legislative City Council Intern with the City of Seattle. Somehow Cesar still finds time to be a Student Ambassador for the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity and a Peer Ambassador for International Programs and Exchanges at the University of Washington.

Wai Chum, OWN Class of 2012

Currently wrapping up a degree in nursing at the University of Washington, Wai has actively sought out ways to maintain her fluency in Arabic and give back to communities in need. This year Wai received a Mary Gates Leadership Scholarship to design and implement a leadership project. Wai created a writing group with Syrian youth in Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan, resulting in the publication of a short magazine. Today Wai is working on expanding that project to create an online language and culture exchange between Syrian and American youth.


Rubin in Jordan with the National Security Language Initiative for Youth

Rubin Cook, Student, OWN Class of 2017

OneWorld Now! is designed to be a two year program. Some students, like Rubin, keep coming back. Rubin proudly boasts of being the only “fourth year” student currently in OWN. So tenacious was his desire to gain fluency in Arabic, he happily repeated level two and then pursued intensive language instruction abroad in Jordan. Rubin spent eight weeks in Amman, Jordan on full-scholarship with the National Security Language Initiative for Youth this summer. While he continues his fourth year of language studies at OWN, Rubin is eager to start college in the fall, and pursue more language opportunities.


Left to right: OWN’s ED Jennifer Tanaka with Asim at the IIE Generation Study Abroad Summit; Khyree presenting certificates to OWN/APSA Study Abroad Scholars in Beijing

Asim Ali, OWN Class of 2008

Today Asim is putting his passion for world languages and diplomacy to work at the Office of the Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights at U.S. Department of State. OneWorld Now! recently caught up with Asim in Washington the D.C. at the Institute for International Education Generation Study Abroad Summit. Asim spoke on a panel about how study abroad with OneWorld Now! and the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship shaped his career path.

Khyree Smith, OWN Class of 2012

Khyree is in his final year at Seattle University, majoring in Human Resources with a minor in Chinese. This past summer, Khyree applied his outstanding leadership and Chinese language skills as a chaperon on OWN’s study abroad trip to China. He has an impressive track record in youth mentoring, and is a gifted public speaker and spoken word artist. Khyree’s application for a TEDx license was recently approved and he’ll be taking these talents to the TEDx stage at TEDxSeattleUniversity on April 29th, 2017.

Update on #Lead12x25 Campaign

goal-as-of-12-13-16OneWorld Now! continues to face the most critical funding crisis in our fifteen years of programming.

We must raise $75,000 by December 31st to continue to provide weekly leadership workshops until the end of the school year in June 2017.

We need you and 249 of our friends, family and colleagues to pledge $25 a month for 12 months to reach our goal. One time gifts are also appreciated. 

Thank you to everyone who has made a contribution to this campaign.



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