PH International

A Global New Media Lab Alumni’s Drive for Social Change

USA | Global New Media Lab | 19 Nov 2014


Upon returning home to Liberia after studying in the U.S. and participating in PH International’s Global New Media Lab (GNML) program, Nathaniel Cooper became a leader in his community, training others how to use social media for social change.

Students at five Liberian high schools received training in social media skills, such as email, YouTube, blogging, Facebook, and Twitter, and were taught how to use these tools in a productive manner to address a specific social cause. Complementing the training in social media, youth learned the importance of integrity, how to be a leader, and the principles of public speaking.


The importance of community engagement and volunteerism rounded out the training sessions, emphasizing that young people, active and engaged in their communities, can change the status quo for the better. During his studies in the U.S. as part of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program, Nathaniel took hold of the initiative PH International offers to all international high school exchange students, and ran with it. The Global New Media Lab is a U.S. Department of State funded program facilitated by the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, implemented by PH International that teaches students how to harness the power of social media to create campaigns for social change in their home communities. Nathaniel participated in both GNML’s 5-month online learning experience and was selected for the one-week training-of-the-trainers Youth TechCamp. Nathanial claims “I believe GNML and the Youth TechCamp put me about 3 or 4 steps ahead of my peers in this growing technology world”.  

During the Youth TechCamp students develop valuable leadership, public speaking, and training skills to help them be leaders of social change in their communities. Students leave with an Action Plan for their follow-on projects, designed to train others on how to use social media and other forms of technology for greater civic engagement. The training in leadership and technology skills Nathaniel provided his fellow high school students is only the beginning of this young man’s philanthropy and dedication. He not only successfully completed his GNML follow-on project but also recruited other young people to form an organization which continues to create social change in their community. Nathaniel is a shining example of how GNML impacts youth and communities across the globe.