Eric Glustrom, UNA Boulder’s 2006 International Human Rights Award Winner
Eric Glustrom is UNA Boulder’s International Human Rights Award winner for 2009 and the founder of an NGO called Educate. This group focuses on educating Ugandan youth through an innovative entrepreneurship program. Eric’s passion for Ugandan youth started when he was just in high school. He planned a trip to Uganda to make a film showing the hardships of refugee camps. While there, he met Benson Oliiver, a Congolese refugee, who taught Eric that education was the only way to improve the lives of youth. At that point, Eric was inspired to create a group that improved education in Uganda. Eventually, that group was named Educate!
Educate’s goal is to provide education, entrepreneurship and mentorship to create the next generation of socially responsible leaders of Uganda. The most promising individuals participate in a innovative curriculum designed to give students the skills to solve problems in their communities. Educate alums have certainly changed Ugandan society. For example, former students have created their own micro-financing organization, started an initiative to get electricity in their village, had their government donate tree saplings, and started a fair trade model enterprise. Most impressively, the alums from Educate’s first class, have combined to created a youth organization to transform African called CORBURWAS. This is an “organization that seeks to transform communities in Africa by preparing and developing a unified group of young leaders to tackle the greatest challenges facing their communities.” Their organization focuses on educating African youth in order to foster unity among the community. Clearly, the Educate family has a ripple effect in which more and more people are positively affected. One way in which Educate! has been growing throughout Uganda is by partnering with the government and United Nations’ International Labor Organization in other to institutionalize Educate’s curriculum into schools. Their plan is to train the future teachers of the Educate curriculum so that every Ugandan student will have dedicated, qualified and prepared mentors.
Currently, Educate! is working on implementing their curriculum globally and domestically. Countries are welcome to adopt Educate’s curriculum and join the Educate X network to share their experiences. Eric is also working on incorporating Educate’s curriculum in American universities in a program called University X. Students will undergo training, spend one semester abroad and one in DC all while applying credit to their home university. Their ideas, when fully developed, will be applied internationally.
Eric, UNA Boulder is proud to honor you as our International Human Rights awardee for 2009. Your work is truly amazing and you are making a monumental change in the world.