A curriculum-based educational program, VAI connects high school students with global humanitarians who exemplify the power of the individual to make a difference. Each year, VAI addresses critical issues facing humanity from the perspectives of our participating humanitarians with the underlying goals of shifting attitudes, fostering global awareness and promoting personal responsibility among youth. Simultaneously, VAI builds bridges across cultural divides by bringing students from all corners of the region together for dialogue. An extension of this initiative is Echo’s Annual Award Dinner, at which the guest humanitarian is they keynote speaker and a local hero is honored with the Echo Award Against Indifference.

Echo Humanitarian Academic Programs

2017 Cuba

2016 Bosnia

2015 Ben Bernakne

2013 The Steel Butterfly

Democracy, Responsibility, & Civic Engagement

The Aaron Ciechanover Project: Living Science

One by One by One…Paul Farmer & Partners in Health

From Rwanda to Darfur: A Week of Hope & Reconciliation

A Decade Inspired by Elie Wiesel

Peter Agre: My Life in Science

ECHO Returns: Young Heroes of Hope

A Gathering of Nobel Laureates: Science for the 21st Century

The Bernard Kouchner Project: Compassion Without Borders

Henry Louis Gates Jr.: W.E.B DuBois and the Encylopedia Africana

The Jeffrey Sachs Project: Environment, Poverty and Healthcare on a Global Scale: What Can One Person Do?

Syl Cheney-Coker Project: Free to Write

Father Robert F. Drinan Event: Reflections of a Human Rights Activist: From Vietnam to the Middle East

The Wole Soyinka Project: Truth, Memory, & Reconciliation

An Evening with Barbara Mooyaart-Doubleday

The Kerry Kennedy Project: For Women & Children

The Harry Wu Project

The Varian Fry Project

An Evening with “The White Rose”