When William W. Bodine High School for International Affairs senior Jasmin Dluzniewski was looking at high schools to attend a few years ago, she wanted to go to a school where she would be able to travel.

“What really made me want to go to Bodine was the aspect of being able to travel,” Jasmin said.“Before the pandemic, students would go to different places and immerse themselves in the culture.

“I love the idea of being able to learn from people, culture and experiences instead of just in the classroom,” she added.

Bodine was founded in 1981 as a partnership between the School District of Philadelphia and the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia.

Located at 1101 N. 4th St. in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia, the magnet school is the first public high school to be co-sponsored by a private world affairs organization. The school has 611 students.

“We have a wonderful partnership with the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia,” said third-year Bodine principal Michele Wilson-Dawson.

“They have been very instrumental in providing programming for students,” she said. “Before the pandemic, the students were able to travel around the world and see the world firsthand as opposed to just reading it in textbooks.”

“They provide workshops, speaker series and other programming for students,” she added. “They’ve provided opportunities that no other organization has ever offered a school before. We’re extremely grateful for that partnership.”

The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia celebrated the 40th anniversary of Bodine last week.

During the celebration, the council kicked off the start of the global education campaign The Importance of Global Affairs Education: Investing in Tomorrow’s World Leaders to highlight the importance of global affairs education to prepare youth for the globally connected careers and community of the future.

The campaign aims to raise $60,000 for global education programs with a portion of the proceeds going to Bodine.

“The celebration was the first time the school really felt like school in a very long time because of the pandemic. School felt normal again,” said Bodine senior Bryanna Massaquoi.

“While it was an emotional time for the seniors, it felt good to see our staff, fellow students, city officials, and the World Affairs Council celebrating this amazing feat,” she said.

“It wasn’t just a great time for the students and staff, but it also allowed us to showcase the great things that we have been doing at our school,” Bryanna added.

Kelli Mackay, Bodine’s International Baccalaureate Diploma program coordinator and English teacher, was one of the speakers during the event.

Mackay did her student teaching at Bodine in 1989 and became a teacher at the school in 2002.

“The beauty about Bodine is that there is no other school in the city like this school,” Mackay said. “I was so honored to be asked to speak at the event last week and it gave me the opportunity to think about how long I’ve been associated with the school and how grateful I am. There is a lot of gratitude around being affiliated with such a beautiful program.”

Established in 1949, The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia is a non-partisan international affairs organization that connects Philadelphia to the world.

Each year, as many as 2,500 students from nearly 85 middle and high schools make use of extensive resource material, guest speakers, conferences, lectures, simulation programs, and field trips provided by the Council.

“Every year, our program includes large scale simulation events where students will play being world leaders, academics, journalists, and non governmental partners tasked with solving critical global issues,” said Kristin Hutchinson, vice president of education for the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia.

“Our students that are members of the World Affairs Council programs also get to attend our speaker events, where they get to meet and hear from some of the most influential and leading experts in national and global affairs,” she added.

Lauren Swartz, president and CEO of the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, said what she wants students to take away from the council’s programming is the opportunities.

“Ninety-five percent of the world’s population lives outside of the U.S. and only 0.0002% of the world’s population lives in Philly,” Swartz said. “Eighty-five percent of global economic growth will occur outside of the U.S.

“For our students and kids to have the best opportunities to grow, have great jobs, start businesses and get funding it has to be globally,” she added. “They have to understand the world around them. What we want our students to take away from our programming is that the world is full of opportunities.”

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