Focus on Youth: Gap Years and Social Media

We were inspired to start Briefcase to Backpack after encountering the lack of Americans doing the same thing on our own career breaks. We did, however, run into many Brits, Aussies, and Europeans embracing the experience – cultures where gap years are very common.

We’ve read reports that the concept of the gap year is starting to become more common in America, and now there is even a national movement behind it. Much like Briefcase to Backpack, Let’s Get Global wants to create a new mindset in the country, but this one focused on youth.

[singlepic=1509,125,,,right]Founded by author and experienced traveler, Rita Golden Gelman, Let’s Get Global’s mission is to encourage and assist youth in the United States to have international experiences – particularly during the year between high school and the next phase of their lives.

Their public relation efforts will include a campaign to educate the American public about the benefits of taking a gap year, creating a comprehensive website full of gap year-related resources, and providing funding sources for potential “gappers.”

We look forward to seeing the progress of this movement! For more information and to make a donation, visit:
Let’s Get Global Blog
Ethical Traveler Article

[singlepic=1510,225,,,left]Another youth movement comes from our travel geek friends at Sosauce. Sosauce’s interactive website invites travelers who are passionate about writing, photography, exploration, and culture to share their experiences with other like-minded people.

[singlepic=1512,250,,,right]They know all about how effective new media can be to communicate and create social change, and they want to share what they know at their New Media & Youth Action Conference. This free all-day community youth forum will touch on progressive issues such as health, environment, global & local development and cultural diplomacy. Alongside other local organizations, they will be providing an open platform for young people to learn about how to use new media sites and social entrepreneurship to create effective change.

The event will be held on Tuesday, September 1st from 10am – 3pm at the Interchurch Center in New York City. If you know of any youth who would benefit from this great opportunity, please visit the New Media & Youth Action Conference website.

Other comments

5 Comments on "Focus on Youth: Gap Years and Social Media"

  1. Stephanie on Mon, 24th Aug 2009 4:19 pm 

    I think that rise of the “gap year” among Americans is a great thing! I did one and I’ve built my own blog on the idea of encouraging others to do the same. It’s such a rewarding experience that often gets overlooked in our very result-oriented culture.

  2. Leigh on Mon, 24th Aug 2009 10:04 pm 

    I’m so happy you’ve featured Let’s Get Global. It is a fantastic cause, as are the others, and definitely worth supporting. I love Rita Golden Gelman and know she puts her heart and soul into everything she does.

  3. Dave on Tue, 25th Aug 2009 4:04 pm 

    I just learned of the Let’s Get Global movement too, and I immediately wrote Rita to see if I could be of any help.

    I wonder what the effect of these movements would be if they are successful in driving more people to take longer career braeks?

    Injecting a lot more people into the same big backpacker circuits and tourist destinations could possibly drive up prices everywhere from hostels to restaurants/bars to tour companies. And that’s not necessarily good for the locals.

  4. John Bardos - JetSetCitizen on Wed, 26th Aug 2009 5:04 am 

    Very cool idea. The world is getting smaller every year. It is great to see someone working towards making it happen faster.

    We are all global citizens now. The idea of living, working and dying in only one country needs to change. We are all interconnected. Everything we do affects everyone on the planet. It is important to see that everyone in the world is all in this together.

  5. Emily @ Maiden Voyage on Fri, 4th Sep 2009 12:46 pm 

    I really wish I had taken a gap year between high school and college. My college required that I start in the summer (they were doing staggered admission since it’s a huge public school with too many students), so I graduated high school and started college two weeks later. It was so rushed and I wasn’t ready. Looking back, a gap year is the one thing I really should have done. Because I didn’t and I’m now two years in the professional workforce, I’m strongly contemplating a career break before I get too invested in my career.

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