Looking for a meaningful engagement with students after History and Government AP exams? Register for the free Scholars to Leaders live- stream interactive webcast. Classrooms can virtually participate in debates, discussions, and complete online challenges to explore this year's theme, Through their Eyes: Narratives that Shape our World.
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AP Exams are over, now what?

AP exams are over, classes are still in session, and you’re looking for a meaningful way to engage with your high school students. World Affairs Council DC and George Washington’s Mount Vernon have teamed up for the third annual Scholars to Leaders livestream interactive webcast that connects lessons from history to current events. Classrooms can listen to renowned speakers, virtually connect with panelists through online interactive features, and debate with other classrooms across the country.

This year students will examine how history is created through the stories of individuals in order to understand their community, country, and world with Through Their Eyes: Narratives that Shape our World.

Students and classrooms can join the conversation using #Scholars2Leaders on Twitter and Instagram.

Join the Conversation with #Scholars2Leaders

Connect with classrooms around the United States and the sponsor organizations by using #Scholars2Leaders on Twitter.

Share images of your classroom participating in the Scholars to Leaders program using #Scholars2Leaders on Instagram.

Join the Conversation with #Scholars2Leaders

Featured Speakers

Stay tuned for this year's featured speakers

Yeganeh Rezaian

Yeganeh Rezaian is a journalist who covered Iranian political, social and economic news from 2009 until she and her husband, Jason Rezaian, were detained on July 22, 2014. Rezaian was finally released on bail in early October having spent a total 72 nights in Tehran's Evin prison - 69 of them in solitary confinement - while her husband remained incarcerated. She was released on several conditions and banned from working as a journalist. From 2011 to 2013 Rezaian was Bloomberg News’ Iran correspondent and covered Iran's 2013 presidential election in the role. In 2013 Rezaian took a position at The National, Abu Dhabi's English language newspaper, writing a range of features on aspects of life in Iran that are rarely covered in the international press. She was also one of the few journalists to travel with President Hassan Rouhani to Iran’s biggest and most remote province, Sistan and Baluchestan, where she reported on government plans to develop the region. In 2014 she received a GlobalPost Ground Truth fellowship for reporting on youth unemployment in Iran. And in 2016 was a fall fellow at Harvard Kennedy School's Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, researching the challenges female journalists face in order to fulfill their jobs and keep their voices strong in suppressive, patriarchal countries such as Iran and the rest of the Middle East. Rezaian is currently GWI Knapp Global Women’s fellow at the George Washington University for the spring 2017 semester.

Dean Malissa

Dean Malissa

A life-long resident of Philadelphia, Dean Malissa has been a performer since childhood. As the official and sole George Washington character interpreter at Mount Vernon, Dean has become the most frequently sought-after portrayer of George Washington in the country. He has portrayed General Washington in several TV productions for The Discovery Channel, NBC, National Geographic Channel, Armed Forces Network and the Showtime Network; appeared on CNN and many films, most recently the IMAX film We the People and the internet documentary Now Debate This. He was featured in a PBS documentary Faith and America’s Founders, which aired nationally in spring 2011.

As Washington, he has crisscrossed the nation from Arizona to Alabama, from Michigan to Massachusetts, from Washington State to Washington, DC. He portrayed Washington throughout France and in Beijing, China. His portrayal of Washington takes him from classrooms to arenas, from film sets to appearances in front of millions.

Stephen Hammond

Stephen Hammond

A Denver, Colorado native, Mr. Hammond is a retired federal employee having spent his entire career as an earth scientist with the United States Geological Survey. He is now a Scientist Emeritus with the agency. Steve has now swapped his full-time geology work for genealogy and family history research, a hobby he’s had since he was in grade school. He is a 7th generation member of the Syphax family of Washington, DC: a line that moved by force to New Orleans and then by choice to Denver. He has participated in a variety of National Park Service programs including speaking at an Historian’s Round Table at the Arlington House-Robert E. Lee Memorial in 2015 to highlight the lives of his Syphax ancestors and other enslaved Americans on the estate. He has spoken at the African American Civil War Museum and the historic Decatur House on Lafayette Square both in Washington, DC and has contributed to exhibits at George Washington’s Mount Vernon and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture that both opened in 2016. He has been interviewed by numerous organizations including NPR, C-Span, Civil War Times and Cobblestone magazines among others, as well as for numerous newspaper articles to provide authoritative family-history information and historical perspective.  Recently, he initiated a DNA project intended to support historical information that ties the Syphax family directly to Martha Washington.

Mireya Loza

Mireya Loza

Mireya Loza is a curator at the National Museum of American History (NMAH), Smithsonian Institution.  She received her doctorate in American Studies at Brown University. Her areas of research include Latino History, Social Movements, and Labor History. Her book, Defiant Braceros: How Migrant Workers Fought for Racial, Sexual and Political Freedom (UNC Press), examines the Bracero Program and how guest workers negotiated the intricacies of indigeneity, intimacy, and transnational organizing.  Dr. Loza worked with the NMAH on the Bracero History Project, which produced the Bracero History Archive and the traveling exhibition Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964. Her research has been funded by the Ford Foundation, the Mexico-North Research Network, the Smithsonian Institution, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Kani Xulam

Kani Xulam

Kani Xulam is a native of Kurdistan. He studied International Relations at the University of Toronto, holds a BA in history from the University of California Santa Barbara and an MA in the International Service program at American University. At the University of Toronto, he represented Kurdistan at the Model United Nations, which passed a nonbinding resolution recognizing the right of the Kurdish people to self-determination. At the University of California Santa Barbara, he was part of a group of peace activists who protested the first Gulf War by taking part in a sit-in at Chancellor’s office in January 1991. Everyone was arrested. Mr. Xulam pled not guilty, defended himself, and was sentenced to 18 hours of community service to plant saplings in Santa Barbara. In 1993, at the urging of Kurdish community leaders in America, he left his family business in Santa Barbara, California to establish the American Kurdish Information Network (AKIN) in the nation’s capital. AKIN is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering Kurdish-American understanding and friendship. In his capacity as AKIN’s director, Mr. Xulam has worked closely with members of the U.S. Congress and their staff to seek the freedom of Kurdish parliamentarians imprisoned in Turkey, with a particular focus on the case of Leyla Zana. His advocacy work on behalf of the Kurdish people, and his efforts to resist legal harassment in the U.S. instigated by the Turkish authorities, were highlighted in a documentary, “Good Kurds, Bad Kurds: No Friends But the Mountains”, a film that Stephen Holden in the New York Times praised as “searing … delves deeply into the history and politics of Kurdistan.” In 2001, Mr. Xulam undertook an around-the-clock vigil in front of the Turkish Ambassador’s residence in Washington, DC to highlight the plight of imprisoned Kurdish parliamentarians. The vigil, kept in a replica of a Turkish prison cell, lasted 221 days. Mr. Xulam is an occasional commentator on the plight of the Kurds and Kurdistan on the pages of Rudaw, an online multilingual daily with headquarters in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan.

Indra Acharya

Indra Acharya was born in a refugee camp in Nepal after his parents were expelled from Bhutan.  This happened in the midst of ethnic cleansing and violence within their country because a group of Nepali-speaking Bhutanese citizens began to demand rights from an oppressive king. While living in the camp Indra was able to turn to his education as an outlet. He spent most of his time in the refugee camp advocating for children’s rights, human rights, better educational opportunities, and leadership for Bhutanese refugee children. In 2012 he and his family resettled in Winooski, VT through the US refugee resettlement program. Despite several post-resettlement challenges, he continues to pursue an education: graduating from Winooski High School after completing dual-enrollment college program at Vermont Academy of Science and Technology. Indra has been active in community, local, state, and national politics. A student at Georgetown University, Indra is a Gates Millennium Scholar and he currently serves as Program Assistant at Jesuit Refugee Service-USA. He hopes to pursue a career in public service in the US.

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