Grantee News

The Seattle Institute Celebrates its Fifth Anniversary

In July 2016, NPH USA celebrated the fifth graduating class of the Seattle Institute. The Seattle Institute was founded in 2011 to offer the most promising young NPH leaders a deeper and more advanced leadership formation opportunity. Each year six students are selected to spend ten months in the Seattle area, living with host families, enrolling in a full-time English program, and participating in a comprehensive leadership development program. They return to their home countries better prepared to share their talents with NPH and their local community.

To date, 26 young leaders have graduated from the program. Here are their profiles: NPH 5 year Anniversary Stories 2016.



Ambassador Gary Grappo joins the Center for Middle East Studies at Denver University

In January 2016 Ambassador Gary Grappo joined the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies as a Distinguished Fellow. He came to this position from a distinguished career as a diplomat, serving as U.S. Ambassador to Oman, Charge d’Affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission in Saudi Arabia, Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Director of Regional Affairs for the State Department’s Near East Bureau in Washington, and Envoy and Head of Mission for The Quartet in Jerusalem.

Since starting his new role, Ambassador Grappo has written a series of articles on topics ranging from Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic moves against Lebanon, the fight against ISIS, the escalation of the Saudi-Iranian rivalry, and the future of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations

He will be a featured speaker at a one-day symposium on “US Foreign Policy after the Iran Nuclear Deal and the Changing Geopolitics of the Middle East,” co-sponsored by the Josef Korbel School of International Studies and the Center for Strategic and Diplomatic Studies at the University of South Florida.



Syria Direct Receives Six-Month Grant from U.S. State Department

The U.S. State Department will provide a $237,000 grant to Syria Direct over a six month period, from March through September 2016, for the third phase of their journalism training project. GPD will provide an additional $60,000 over the same period.

To date, the Syria Direct journalism training project has trained 45 Syrian journalists. This new grant will allow the organization to train an additional twelve aspiring Syrian journalists and match them with six full-time Syrian reporters who will serve as mentors and five American linguists/reporters who will work with the Syrian staff to bring their reporting to an English-speaking audience.

The team will create short, ideologically objective news products that focus on unreported events within Syria, as well as longer analyses about trends and significant events which will be made available through an online platform to other news outlets.



Gads Hill Center Teen Connection Student, A Future Engineer

Erick Villegas, a 16-year-old living in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago, was referred to Gads Hill Center’s Teen Connection program through his school, Chicago Bulls College Prep. He began as a shy student; Erick didn’t partake in activities or interact with other Teen Connection members. However, as the school year progressed, Erick became interested in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities offered in the program.

Gads Hill Center offers a spectrum of out-of-school time programming for students of all ages to provide a safe learning environment, as well as opportunities to explore new interests. Teen Connection exposes students to STEM fields as potential career choices and encourages them to apply for college programs through campus visits, ACT preparation, and financial aid workshops.

Since 2013, GPD Charitable Trust has been a generous supporter of all of Teen Connection’s STEM-focused enrichment activities. Through these initiatives, Erick discovered his interest in engineering. Since he joined Teen Connection, Erick has represented Gads Hill Center in the FIRST Technology Challenge robotics competition, become more outgoing, and has emerged as a team player among his fellow students. The once timid student now actively recruits his friends to join Teen Connection, and wants to pursue a career in engineering after graduating from high school.



Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos Partners with iLEAP for Youth Leadership Training

In January 2016 iLEAP welcomed their most recent cohort of young, emerging leaders from seven countries in the Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH) community. These 12 young people were selected from a highly competitive pool of 65 applicants. They spent the first four weeks of their visit participating in the iLEAP Global Leadership program learning more about leadership, social entrepreneurship, and team-building. The group graduated from the program on February 5th.

“This group of young people really represent the future of NPH and, in fact, the future of Latin America! It has been a pleasure to work with them and be a part of their growth as leaders.” (Britt Yamamoto, iLEAP Executive Director)

 iLEAP is an international nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire and renew social leaders and global citizens through integrated leadership programs that ignite hope and transformation in the world.