Former ACG Study Abroad student, Zach Wierschem, won the International Institute of Education (IIE) and the New York Times in Education “Generation Study Abroad Voices” Video Challenge 2017.
“When refugee children sang me a song of peace and friendship in the midst of being forced from normal life is the moment I realized that life goes on. And such moments would not have been possible without my Study Abroad experience,” he states during his award winning video entry.
The International Institute of Education is a prestigious organization that has been advancing international education across borders since 1919.
Sharing the same vision – that traveling and experiencing the world is key to a young individual’s future success – Deree, through its Study Abroad Program, offers students such life-changing experiences as Zach’s story.
“Study abroad is so formative and crucial to creating the next generation of global citizens”, said Wierschem who was majoring in Finance at Marquette University, Milwaukee, before attending ACG. It took one trip to Greece, and Deree, to awaken him to his true calling. Coming to Athens and seeing the refugees was enough to change his focus from stocks, loans, suits, and the world of high finance, to compassion, compassion, compassion – and his major, from Finance to Innovation and Entrepreneurship!
“I believe my experiences with refugees and having the world as my classroom have prepared me well for the entrepreneurial profession” says Zach who ascribes to Deree his transformation “from a business savvy capitalist into a compassionate young entrepreneur seeking to empower others using the same business principles in the classroom” and plans on launching a startup with micro-loans for people in poverty.
To see the video that landed Zach the 2017 IIE and New York Times in Education Global Citizenship Award, click here.