High School Board

HS Board 800x464


PORTLAND (new in fall 2017)
EASTSIDE (new in fall 2017)

(Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond and beyond)

Applications for all programs available on our website August 15.


This school-year program empowers students to use their talents and networks to further the mission of Water1st. We value the next generation of global leaders and believe it’s important to facilitate their growth and understanding of effective global development.

Our High School Board members serve as water ambassadors in their schools and communities – sharing their energy, talents, and networks to further the mission of Water1st. We provide youth with the support and resources they need to be advocates, as well as the inspiration to become the next generation of global leaders.

Our curriculum exposes students to a wide variety of global development topics: public health, economics, technology, gender, fundraising, history & culture of project countries, and the philosophy of community-led development.

Candidates are chosen based on interest in the field of global development, as well as a commitment to advocacy through fundraising. Each student is expected to raise a minimum of $1000 over the course of the year. Advocacy training includes—social media, personal campaign pages, speech writing, and other forms of written & verbal communication.

Additionally, our High School Board members have the opportunity to apply to the Water1st Global Fellows program, which includes an intensive firsthand field experience in our project communities in rural Ethiopia. Learn more >>

teens take action

Grace, a 2015-16 member, participates in the Gates Foundation Teens Take Action Fair with pro soccer players Roger Levesque and Taylor Graham.


High School Board members volunteering at the 2016 Seattle Carry5 Walk for Water.


Applications are closed for the 2016-2017 High School Board. This is going to be a great group and an extraordinary year! Thank you to everyone who applied or helped spread the word! If you are interested applying next year or learning more, contact us.


Fall sessions: We begin with an overview of Water1st projects in Ethiopia, Honduras and Bangladesh. Students analyze a community-led philosophy of development and learn how it results in effective and sustainable projects. They learn how a holistic approach that includes water, toilets, and hygiene promotion greatly reduces the spread of infectious disease. A deep understanding of the Water1st approach to development prepares students as water educators and advocates in their communities.

Winter sessions: Students are prepared to serve as advocates in various venues—Seattle Art Museum’s Teen Night Out; local youth conferences such as ACT; the Teen Action Fair at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; schools; places of worship; and corporations. This period also includes a critical look at the landscape of water technologies vs. the Water1st priority of high quality piped water systems with water-sealed toilets.

Spring sessions: Students analyze the complexities of poverty and the resulting challenges in global development. During this period they hone their advocacy and fundraising skills by communicating their personal story of compassion via social media, newsprint, graphic design, speech writing, and other forms of expression. Together, they make a huge impact as they support the annual Carry5 Walk for Water as volunteers and fundraisers.

The combination of a deep understanding of the global water crisis and the inspiration to communicate the problem results in a group of super-advocates who are changing the world.