fbpx

Interviews with purpose-driven leaders who are helping others and making a positive impact in the world.

INSPIRED IMPACT header_new

Interviews with purpose-driven leaders who are dedicated to helping others and making a positive impact in the world.

 

May 20, 2024

Eliza Pesuit | Global Glimpse

 

Eliza Pesuit

Eliza Pesuit is the Founding Executive Director of Global Glimpse. Follow on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube and learn more at globalglimpse.org.


 

 

TELL US, WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU DO?

Hi, my name is Eliza Pesuit, and I am the founding executive director of Global Glimpse, an innovative nonprofit working at the intersection of travel and education. We partner with diverse high schools and youth-serving organizations across the United States to make transformative travel experiences accessible to young people from all backgrounds. Our programs build empathy, agency, and a global perspective, equipping young people with skills to succeed in college and careers and drive change in their communities.

 

HOW DID YOU GET HERE?

I was born and raised in rural Western Massachusetts. As the daughter of a Serbian Orthodox father from steel country Ohio and a Russian Jewish mother from Boston, I became comfortable with cultural differences early on. My childhood was fraught with conflict, but it never lacked love, and that duality guides my life’s work to bridge divides.

 

Eliza Pesuit

Eliza Pesuit is the Founding Executive Director of Global Glimpse. Follow on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube and learn more at globalglimpse.org.


 

Traveling on my own in my late teens and twenties completely shifted the way that I saw the world and ignited a passion for equity. I believe that life-changing experiences change lives, and every young person should have access to the transformative power of travel. We launched Global Glimpse programs in 2009, and under my leadership, the organization has grown to become an industry leader, and the only youth travel organization focused on equity and access. I am a doer and a creator, and I’ve been told that my superpowers are authentic connection and that I see gaps as opportunities. I am consistently humbled by those surrounding me, and I do the hard work to be better. I welcome discomfort as I grow the most when I am in community with people whose lives, experiences, and perspectives are different from my own. I am especially aware of this at this stage of my life as I think about the world I am building for my 17-year-old stepson and two-year-old daughter.

 

WHAT DO YOU STAND FOR? WHY IS THIS WORK IMPORTANT TO YOU?

U.S. high schools remain highly segregated along racial, ethnic, and economic lines. Students lack diverse learning spaces that support the development of authentic connections between young people from different backgrounds, furthering division and economic inequality. I believe we have a responsibility to support a new generation of diverse American leaders in developing their perspectives, skills, and commitment to working together across divides to solve national and global problems. As a changemaker, I work to bridge divides by bringing young people from different backgrounds together to learn about the world and their role within it. Travel puts everyone out of their comfort zone and creates an even playing field where relationships can form that are nearly impossible within the confines of U.S. society.

 

WHAT IMPACT ARE YOU MAKING?

Global Glimpse currently partners with more than100 high schools and youth-serving organizations across the U.S., with primary markets in Los Angeles, the SF Bay Area, Chicago, New York, and Massachusetts. To date, we have served more than 8,000 students and provided $15M in scholarships to make our programs accessible to young people from low-income and underserved backgrounds. We are finding that Global Glimpse has short-term and long-term impacts; 98% of our alumni report building valuable relationships with peers from different backgrounds, and 96% say they can better empathize with people from different cultural backgrounds after Global Glimpse. As our alumni progress into the workforce, 86% agree that Global Glimpse developed them to become more self-aware and open-minded professionals, and 88% report that Global Glimpse developed their ability to collaborate with colleagues from different backgrounds.

 

WHAT (OR WHO) INSPIRES YOU TO DO THIS WORK?

My inspiration is in the depth and breadth of the community behind this work. I am inspired by the commitment of our team to go above and beyond for our students and families every day, by the passion of our board members, and by the dedication of our volunteer educators. I am inspired by the thousands of alumni who stay in touch and share their experiences and the program’s lasting impact on their lives. I am inspired by our program partners and their dedication to service, sustainability, and innovation. And finally, I am inspired by our funding partners and the shift we are seeing to center inclusivity, access, and diversity in the travel industry.

 

WHAT’S YOUR VISION, YOUR BIG DREAM FOR THE IMPACT YOU WANT TO MAKE?

My vision is to transform how we think about education in the United States. Education should inspire, unlock potential, and foster understanding. We need to get young people out of the classroom and into the world in ways that build empathy, agency, and perspective. Travel is the most powerful form of education; my dream is to build a model that makes it accessible to young people from all backgrounds in communities who lack opportunity across the United States. I see a future where high school students have opportunities to learn through experience and build authentic relationships with peers and mentors from different backgrounds.

 

WHAT CHALLENGES ARE YOU FACING?

Global Glimpse has a strong track record of growth and impact. We have scaled and innovated successfully for more than a decade and developed game-changing partnerships with leading global brands like United Airlines, Expedia Group, Away, Snap Inc., and Marriott International. We are at the top of our industry, leading a movement for equity in travel and education, and I see tremendous opportunity to scale our impact. The challenge now is in securing the investment capital for our next stage of growth. I don’t come from money, and I didn’t go to Ivy League schools. We have earned every dollar we’ve raised since our inception, and every partnership we’ve built has been grounded in a shared mission, vision, and values. The nonprofit sector does not have the kind of venture funding opportunities that we see in the private sector or the infrastructure to support refining a model for scale, and we often have to figure it out on our own. I relish this challenge, and I am excited about the opportunity to elevate awareness about our work and seed the next stage of growth and impact.

 

WHAT’S ONE THING YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR CAUSE AND/OR THE WORK YOU’RE DOING?

I hope readers think about their most powerful travel experiences and the impact of those experiences on their perspective, their choices, their lives. I hope our work inspires them to reach out to thank the people that made that experience possible and get involved to pay it forward for the next generation!

 

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE QUOTE OR WORDS OF INSPIRATION TO SHARE?

My father always said, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” I’ve repeated this mantra to myself through the hardest moments in my life to find the strength to keep going. Extraordinary things are built over time, and they require extraordinary effort and resilience.

 

HOW CAN OTHERS SUPPORT YOU OR YOUR CAUSE?

Get involved! Donate to open the world for a young person, bring Global Glimpse to a school or an organization in your community, or volunteer to lead one of our trips!

 

 


At Orapin, we believe those who are working for the greater good should be known, supported, and celebrated. We help purpose-driven organizations generate consistent media coverage and thought leadership opportunities to increase awareness, influence, and impact. If you would like to be featured in INSPIRED IMPACT™, reach out to hello@orapin.co.