Headshot Photo of Peyton Klein
2018 Award Recipient


Project Global Minds Initiative

Location Pittsburgh, PA

Issue Area Education | Immigration/Refugee Support

When Peyton realized she had been in class with a student all year whose name she didn’t know, she was prompted to learn about her classmate Khwala’s experience as a refugee. Her interaction with Khwala and newfound knowledge of the challenges she faced led to the creation of the Global Minds Initiative (GMI). Through GMI, English Language Learners are paired with native English speakers to practice their conversational English skills, receive support navigating the school system, and participate in thought-provoking activities on pressing topics.

Currently, GMI has 13 chapters and has engaged over 500 students from six states and two countries. GMI’s reporting indicates that in 2016-2017, 100% of participating English language learners demonstrated improvement both in integration among students and in their language skills. For her leadership, Peyton has been featured on the “Today Show,” as well as in Teen Vogue and The New York Times. She hosted the TED Talk “Come Sit with Me: An Inclusive Take on Global Education.”

Every day, Global Minds fights stereotypes and discrimination through education. Children are the future of America and the world. If we reach students and promote cultural understanding at a young age, we will proactively provide a promising future.

Peyton Klein

Where is 2018 Awardee Peyton Klein now?

Peyton Klein was a recipient of the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Award in 2018 for her leadership in founding Global Minds Initiative (GMI), which pairs English learners with native speakers to practice conversational skills, navigate school systems, and participate in thought-provoking activities. Since receiving the Award, Peyton has expanded the GMI team and developed Camp Global Minds, which provides leadership training to youth and adult allies, and facilitates brave conversations.

Some of Peyton’s major milestones include:

  • To date: Engaged over 2,600 students in English Language Learner (ELL) activities through programs and fellowships

  • 2021: Merged GMI with the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh to become the Council’s leading education program

  • 2022: Listed as a Forbes 30 Under 30 Honoree

“It is never too late, too early, or too often TO GIVE BACK AND MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE”
Helen Diller