OneWorld Now! was founded in Seattle, Washington in 2002. At that time, we launched a pilot program at Ingraham High School in north Seattle with just 12 students. Since then, OWN expanded to include students from every high school in the Seattle Public School District, working with over 150 students each year.
OWN was a pioneer when it was founded in a post-9/11 climate, yet our mission and vision seem just as critical today as it was back then! OWN has been recognized as “one of the nation’s most innovative after school programs” by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, and the OWN founder, Kristin Hayden, was elected as an Ashoka fellow for recognizing “innovative solutions and the potential to change patterns across society.”
OWN’s award-winning program model combines critical world language skills, leadership training, and study abroad opportunities. We are one of the only programs in the nation that
- Spends at least one-year preparing youth by providing language and leadership training to ensure their success abroad.
- Focuses on providing access to study abroad opportunities to mostly low-income youth and students of color.
- Teaches Arabic, Chinese, Korean, and Russian, four strategically important languages that are not typically offered in American public schools.
- Offers an integrated and holistic program of language, leadership, and study abroad to high school students.