Together with the American Gap Association, I have started “Back-a-Gapper” to encourage and assist recent high school graduates to defer college or the job world for a year while they immerse themselves in other cultures and discover the common humanity of mankind.

Ethan Knight, the Executive Director of the American Gap Association, is working on standards for gap year
programs. The AGA website has ideas for fundraising, scholarships, and tons of links. I want to work on a national campaign getting local communities to raise money for scholarships at graduation from high school. I’m calling it, Back-a-Gapper. So how do we get the idea into every community in the country? I need you to help me figure out how do it and then help me do it.

Watch my presentation about Back-a-Gapper at TEDx Portland, from May 2014:

I’m hoping you will all go out and find people willing to sponsor a GAPPER through the Back-a-Gapper program. I know it will change the youth…..and the country…..and I’m totally convinced it will also change the world! The compassion, understanding, respect for others that happens when we cross borders and interact opens eyes and makes them sparkle. And the Back-a-Gapper program will make that Gap Year available to everyone.

For $5,000 a donor can choose the community, the program, and even participate in the choice of student. The American Gap Association will oversee the whole thing. The donations are tax-deductible. Do check out their site and get in touch with Ethan Knight, executive director. And while you’re on the site, look at the Back-a-Gapper and Financial Aid pages. And please talk to anyone you can think of who can Back-a-Gapper……we’re talking about building a U.S. population that cares. It’s a gift of responsible leadership in the future.

And the donors can follow up with a relationship with the students they are supporting. It’s win-win for all.

Thanks, Rita