At Go! International, we recognize the importance of developing marketable skills through training and education. Whether it is providing the training one our community leaders need to perform better or creating programs with talented individuals with specialized knowledge to work with the community itself, we want to equip our people to profit from the opportunities before them and to create new possibilities for their own and other communities.
Right now, our educational programs are providing students and adults in East St. Louis, Illinois with a big advantage in life and in the job markets. We have two sites in the city with one focused on kids and youth while the other works with adults. East St. Louis, is one of the poorest cities in the U.S. in terms of median household income with the highest murder rate per capita. Across most jobs, the average East St. Louisan earns less than the average worker anywhere else almost regardless of the field. These skills can provide a quality life for them in and of themselves, but when they are combined with other skills, they can really guarantee themselves a bright future and give themselves a chance to give back to the others who follow in the footsteps of their successes.
We currently have 60 foreign language students learning Spanish, French, and Mandarin. Twenty percent of these students are learning two languages at once as well. We have partnered with a student volunteer organization out of Washington University in St. Louis from which we have received over 25 language teachers. We have had over 300 students learn these languages in addition to Russian, Portuguese, Korean, and Vietnamese. Almost all of our volunteers are native speakers, and we have also partnered with another organization to send our outstanding students on a foreign exchange trip for a semester when they turn 16 while students may participate in short-term trips abroad to put their language and other skills into practice while exposing them to new cultures and possibilities.
Our financial literacy program comes from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. It is among the most robust programs available, and we implement it with 200 kids in East St. Louis from Kindergarten up through high school. This is a core skill to upward mobility, and we know that if we teach over 1,000 kids in East St. Louis how to manage their money and invest over the next 5 years, it will change the direction of the community. We have also had 3 students serve on the Fed's Student Board of Directors, one of whom received a paid internship as a data analyst, and another receiving a full ride scholarship in part due to her participation. We also partner with PBS and Scott Credit Union for program delivery, as Scott Credit Union has a mobile banking program that has allowed 50 of our kids and youth to open savings accounts.
We have also hosted art classes in which our student put together an exhibition for the Sheldon Art Gallery in St. Louis. To learn more, check our blog "East Side Rennaissance" on this website.
We are also leading our community in urban agriculture, teaching students and community members about sustainable practices for running urban farms and community gardens hosting our own farm run by our students and working with others in the community on organic farming techniques to produce healthy, locally grown food to their fellow citizens. We also look at these as entrepreneurship opportunities to further teach financial literacy and create financial sustainability programs for the farms/gardens.
Finally, we work with Wings of Hope for STEM Aviation. This includes teaching teenagers how to build plane engines, fly planes, fly drones, and connecting them to commercial and humanitarian career opportunities in the aviation field both in the U.S. and abroad. Our students are the first from East St. Louis to participate in SOAR into STEM as well as drone camps and even participating in missions at Wings of Hope's international sites as of now, preparing to head to Ecuador in October.
Donations towards education go towards providing materials and resources for classes, sending students to study abroad long-term and short-term, and local community service projects led by students.