We Are All Global Connectors

This Spring, I was in Bali. For work. Here’s why.

As an investor, I believe girls’ education is the world’s best investment.

As a global connector, I know the power of maximizing our capital—both financial and social.

Years ago, I met John Wood through Room to Read. Two years ago, he launched a new girls’ education non-profit U-Go. I made a 4-year commitment to U-Go to fund girls’ local university scholarships across 8 Asian countries and encouraged friends to join.

Juliana & brother William at SEGA graduation in Tanzania (Oct 2022)

One of my other partners in girls’ education is Nurturing Minds, Inc., which supports girls’ secondary school SEGA School in Tanzania. I got to know SEGA in 2018 when my Maasai friend William told me of his dad’s plans to marry off his youngest 14-year-old sister, who wanted to remain in school.

I went into global connector mode.

I emailed everyone I knew who might know of a school in Tanzania she could attend on scholarship. I found SEGA; they’ve been a partner of mine ever since.

While leading a small group Venture Travel to Tanzania, I learned SEGA had the same good problem that John had been seeing across Asia—girls were increasingly graduating and qualifying for university. SEGA could fund a few scholars—but suddenly it was 75-80% of the graduating class! They needed a sustainable solution.

I went into global connector mode.

I sent an email to John asking if U-Go might consider expanding to a 9th country (and new continent). It was a big ask of an organization that had just celebrated its first birthday.

But I could see it as the perfect partnership. I told him about SEGA and of the other change-makers he knew that supported both U-Go and SEGA. I asked if I could make an introduction.

John took the meeting.

Due diligence conversations progressed quickly. The U-Go team concluded that if they were going to launch in Africa, SEGA would be the place to start.

U-Go’s next issue was getting additional funding.

This is where other global connectors stepped in.

Last Fall, John finished delivering a speech at a conference in Colorado and a couple approached him. They were committed to funding U-Go scholarships. But they had an interest in Africa—specifically Tanzania.

Sometimes serendipity sounds like a cheesy setup.

John shared U-Go’s Tanzania plans. The couple is now supporting four years of university education through U-Go for 100 SEGA graduates in Tanzania. And a 9th U-Go country is launched!

Global Connectors behind the launch of U-Go Tanzania (Nov 2023)

Global connectors hold both financial and social capital.

Had I not sent an email, had John not trusted me to take the meeting, had the couple not acted on their generous urge—this partnership would not exist.

Recently, Nurturing Minds’ SEGA School’s Laura DeDominicis and Pauline Rusisye and I joined U-Go’s Global Partners Conference in Bali. We joined 75 other girls’ education enthusiasts—U-Go change-makers, leaders from other in-country global partners, and 20 U-Go scholars from Indonesia.

I’m often asked how I became passionate about girls’ education. My answer? I’m a former girl whose life was transformed by going to college. Growing up, I was inspired by my single mom’s struggles and sacrifices to pursue a mid-life nursing degree. I had limited guidance in navigating the complexities of pursuing my own higher education. But fueled by determination, I figured out financial aid and was accepted at a leading U.S. private university.

When I hear girls like the scholars in Bali share their challenges–fear of failure, pressure to succeed, sense of isolation–I feel their struggles.

I also see their resilience and support of each other. That’s what gives me hope.

My experience supporting Juliana reminds me that investing in girls’ education isn’t just about numbers, but personal empowerment and impact. It’s about giving girls the tools to rewrite their stories.

I’m grateful for the universities and organizations like U-Go, Nurturing Minds, and SEGA, as well as the people I meet worldwide who are dedicated to making education accessible to all.

U-Go Indonesia scholars at U-Go Global Partner Conference in Bali (April 2024)

The moral of this story?

We’re all global connectors—should we choose to be.

Send the email. Make the introduction. Every story of global change starts with simple actions that spiral into success.

Want to join me in Venture Travel in 2024 (Rwanda) or 2025? Connecting with students and entrepreneurial leaders will be your highlight. Who knows what will happen next! Subscribe to my blog to receive the earliest updates.

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Jodi Morris Written by:

Venture Guide to High-Achieving Seekers. Success Coach. Venture Travel Curator. Impact Investor. Traveler. Writer. Global Connector. When we connect to others' stories it changes our own. Let's Venture!