WASHINGTON, DC: Global Tassels is a philanthropic organization based out of Washington D.C. with the self-proclaimed “twin-goal” of providing education and social service.
The entity’s driving mission is to mitigate worldwide poverty by offering a cost free, U.S.-based education to “student leaders” who are chosen from international regions affected by long-term underdevelopment. In other words, Global Tassels intends to alleviate the onset of widespread poverty by means of propagating higher education
Once the foundation’s educational program inevitably emerges from its pilot stage, student leaders from around the world will be chosen to attend any of the various U.S. academic institutions that the organization is currently negotiating with; subsequent to the receipt of an American diploma student leaders will be repatriated and duly tasked with affecting positive social change back home.
Dr. Elvin T. Ramos — Global Tassels’ founder, president, and CEO — has spearheaded the foundation’s steady emergence with the help of a dedicated team of likeminded humanitarians.
“The first motivation behind [Global Tassels] is my passion for education. The second regards international development that is ultimately centered on new, sustainable development goals,” Ramos told The American Bazaar in a phone interview.
During the conversation, Ramos made a point of touching specifically on Global Tassels’ blueprint for India, which is one of the nations that falls under the foundation’s overarching purview.
Excerpts from the interview with Dr. Ramos:
How has your organization implemented its strategy in India?
We took a visit to New Delhi in December of 2014. Global Tassels started in May 2014 so we went immediately when we had the chance. We returned to Delhi in July of last year and have plans to go back to Delhi this summer again.
As far as how we cultivated the organization structure is ultimately based on a partnership. People who we know here have given us some leads to work with institutions such as the YMCA and YWCA in Delhi, and we’re quite proud of what they’re doing over there.
The YWCA is a very active institution that promotes academic programs and activities to get engaged in poorer areas surrounding Delhi. The institution has helped us and introduced us to different professionals as well as leaders of NGOs.
We have had opportunities to expand based on our visit; because of that we’ve had leaders amongst the governing body of the YMCA connect us with communities throughout the slum areas of Delhi and the work that they’re doing there, whether it’s providing education, women’s empowerment, or food.
Last year we interviewed about five students from Delhi — a shortlist, but there were many who were nominated. We are very hopeful that we can continue to go back to Delhi and eventually other parts of India.
We have a strategy for India where we want to market and promote ourselves so that we can provide scholarships for more students who are in need.
We’re starting in Delhi because we want to make sure that we’re at the heart of the country and also because most of our partners living in India are located in the capital.
In your opinion, how does India compare to other nations in terms of poverty and lack of academic opportunity?
I do think that compared to the other countries that we’ve been in — Guatemala, the Philippines, Ivory Coast, Columbia, and Haiti — India is quite different. Although there is a significant amount of people in India who are in need, I do think that our experience in India gave us the opportunity to understand Indian culture and that folds into giving India our passion.
In my experience talking to students in India — they’re quite visionary. They want to do new things and really innovative things when it comes down to putting themselves in the position to help their community. I think they are open to the world, they are knowledgeable about what’s going on around them, what’s going on in India. With India being a leader in terms of population growth, I think they understand that once they get the education that they need, they will play a role in how India will become a leading country economically, socially, and politically over the next five to ten years.
How do you envision student leaders alleviating localized poverty once repatriated?
In India specifically, I think there are many pockets of communities that are in need. These communities are eager to learn about the world. Whether that might be based off technology, or ideology, or other things that are happening, I envision that whomever we choose in India, these student leaders will come back to their communities and really share their experience by creating or implementing a project with us and other supporters sponsoring and financing the project.
It would give hope, and for me the most important thing is the ability to say that they also have an opportunity outside of the situation they are currently living in. In addition to that I would really like to see student leaders be role models to the youth as well as to the other individuals living in their communities while providing access to education, providing empowerment for young girls, and being on the front lines of employment and human rights.