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SXSWedu 2017

The “Malia Effect”: Making a Gap Year the New Norm

Students are racing, without pause, from high school to college in what some have termed “the race to nowhere.” What if, instead of getting to college burnt out, today’s students arrived with a set of burning questions? What if all high school graduates followed Malia Obama’s lead and took a year before college to step outside their comfort zone, learn a new language, explore their passions, and gain leadership skills? Join us for an interactive conversation about what it means to be college and career ready in 2017, and how teachers, parents, and colleges can transform the traditional “gap” year into a bridge year and launch pad for America’s next generation of leaders.

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  1. Examine challenges facing higher ed -- mental health, rising debt, completion rates -- and the mindsets and skills needed for success in today’s world
  2. Discuss differences between a traditional gap year and a “bridge year” that builds self-awareness and global skills sought by colleges and employers
  3. Develop concrete strategies for engaging your school and community in the bridge year movement



David Omenn, VP Dev, Global Citizen Year

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