The Global Development Lab at UCLA is an undergraduate student-led organization that strives to provide a results-driven space for students to research, incubate, and implement innovative ideas that generate social impact. This community allows students to take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to learn real life applications through the creation of a development project. Through professionally-led workshops, internship placements, research projects, and development model experimentation, GDL equips students with the tangible skills and resources necessary to successfully foster responsible global development initiatives that are sustainable, culturally-relevant, and in alignment with the goals and needs of their community partners. GDL’s development projects are created for communities and issues at home and abroad, representing the UCLA commitment to social justice and working towards equality.
At a global university located in a global city, YOU have the ability to promote development both locally and globally by supporting our campaign. By funding these projects, you will be directly influencing the sustainable development from the local scale of Los Angeles to the international scale. With this funding, more projects will have the ability to be implemented and will allow our students to gain knowledge outside of UCLA that can then be shared in classrooms and with professors and fellow students.
Students on the ground implementing their projectAs the lab enters its eighth year, we want to provide more students with the chance to compete for funding and to implement the projects they work on throughout the year, as our organization relies completely on grants and outside funding. Through your support, we can award grants to the projects that our judges–a panel of development experts and UCLA faculty–determine to be the most innovative and impactful, allowing these groups to implement their projects and make a meaningful difference in the community that their initiative targets. Thanks to your generous donations in 2020, we were able to fund two winning capstone projects! GDL grant-winners Olivia, Maly, Ronni, and Shelbie used these funds to implement their projects in Kumi, Uganda, and Tijuana, Mexico. Olivia and Maly's project, KumiKonnect, implemented Wi-Fi technology at the Atutur Hospital in Kumi, Uganda, along with a support and resource network among regional medical schools and hospitals. Ronni and Shelbie’s project created an after school program at a food shelter for children in La Morita, Tijuana.
The winning project for the 2022-2023 Project Incubator was REACH (Reproductive Education and Community Health), an organization dedicated to promoting equity by facilitating sexual health classes for middle and high school students. Despite a California state law requiring sex education, many schools fail to comply with the standards of the unfunded mandate. REACH partnered with Camino Nuevo Charter Academy and trained more than 30 sexual heath educators to teach 12 lessons of the state-approved curriculum. The district’s predominantly BIPOC students reside in historically underserved areas of Central Los Angeles, where the annual family income is among the lowest in the city. Ultimately, disseminating this foundational knowledge is imperative to improving gender equality, disrupting generational cycles, and empowering underserved communities. They were able to accomplish all of this with $1000 in GDL funding. Now imagine the impact your donation could have!
Donations are tax-deductible and we will create a quarterly newsletter to update donors on the progress of each of the projects. Donors will be able to see the impact of their donation through the students’ implementation of development initiatives at home and abroad that truly make a difference on communities around the world.
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Should this fund reach the campus minimum required for the establishment of an endowment or quasi-endowment, The UCLA Foundation reserves the right to convert this fund to an endowment or quasi-endowment. Please click here to learn more about how the UCLA Foundation invests and manages its endowments.