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Verto Education was founded on the belief that we can all learn from each other. That everyone benefits from getting out of their comfort zone and having uncomfortable conversations that lead to deeper knowledge and empathy.

As a company, we strive to practice what we preach. We are heartbroken as we work to process the tragic deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, among other acts of racism. We know that our work towards supporting students who haven’t previously been supported in this system is a start, but there is still a lot more we need to do.

Here are a few of the actions we are taking as a company:

– Matching 100% of all contributions made by our individual team members to organizations that give a voice to the underrepresented

– Working internally to continue to diversify our team to be reflective of the communities that we serve (acknowledging we’re not there yet)

– Building more robust training for our educators to better understand the experience and serve our students of color abroad

– Creating safe spaces and providing mental health resources for all students

– Working internally to confront our own biases as an organization and in the field of international education

– Proactive outreach to continue to diversify Verto students, high school counselors, and partner colleges

As Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

More than anything during this time we need to educate ourselves, and that starts with listening. We encourage all of you, around this country, to listen to someone different than you today. When you see a stranger, ask how they are feeling, and how the events of the past week are affecting them. Listen without judgment and without objection or expectation. Listen with calm, patience, and empathy. Truly listening and empathizing is the only path forward, the only path toward realizing that we are truly all in this together, as a shared and connected humanity.

We will start by listening to you, and by serving our community. We are here, we care, and we are in this together. Black lives matter.