Greater Atlanta Christian School is in the works of building a sister school, but it won't be anywhere in Georgia or the U.S.: It'll be in Rwanda.
Since 2007, a team from GAC has been working with the president and government of the African country to create the Central Africa School of Excellence, which will be open to students on the seventh grade level and above.
Aside from the simple offer of higher education, one of the goals for the Rwanda school is to build global connections, said Dr. David Fincher, the president of GAC. Since the mid-90s, GAC has completed as many as 25 mission trips to various continents a year, but the school wanted to do something more long term.
Fincher explained that they realized it's important to have relationships with foreign leaders more than ever before, and since the Norcross-area school is filled with leadership students, starting a sister school in another country would be beneficial.
"Our view is that students today need a deep, binding global connection, not just two weeks in a mission trip and a learning experience here and there, but sustained interaction with leaders around the world," said Fincher.
GAC wanted to have the school in another section of the world that is rapidly developing and will grow a generation of leaders and Kigali, Rwanda, was the answer.
Since the country's genocide in the early '90s, Fincher said, Rwanda has risen as a strong and growing economy with thoughtful businesses and nonprofit and government leadership that all have global outlooks.
Because they will be sister schools, GAC aims to have the same goals and types of leadership students at the Central Africa School of Excellence.
"It's designed for leaders of Rwanda, students who will emerge as the business leaders, the professionals, the parliament members in Central Africa, and the policy shapers there who will get to know our students and partner with them through projects when they are [teens]," Fincher said.