Program Profile

MapWorks Learning

Ukraine Youth Action Network

  • High School/Grades 9-12

MapWorks Learning’s Ukraine Youth Action Network enables young Ukrainians whose lives have been disrupted by war to connect with one another and with peers in the United States to examine the concept of “heroic action” – that little something extra that ordinary people can do in a difficult situation to have exceptional impact.


The network is a youth-driven initiative designed to channel Ukrainian high school students’ wartime experience into positive action for themselves and their country. Together, students learn about personal agency and leadership and jointly develop and practice leadership skills by designing and implementing concrete plans of action to benefit Ukraine.

Over the course of a semester, American and Ukrainian high school students, working together in online private groups, learn about the “heroic imagination,” exploring what makes a hero, why there aren’t more heroes, and what skills and habits make heroic action more likely. As part of their exploration of heroism, the students undertake one to two activities each week, such as imagining a “hero roundtable” (a la King Arthur) and naming up to six heroes whom they would assemble as their personal advisors (a family member, a fictional hero or superhero, a historical figure, and so forth.) They also meet periodically for live discussions via Zoom. To begin developing such skills and habits in themselves, binational teams plan and implement projects to benefit Ukraine.

Program Details

Number of Participants


U.S. States and Territories Reached
    • Arizona
    • Maryland
    • New York
    • Ohio
Countries and Territories Reached
  • Ukrainian Refugees in Poland

Mapworks Learning’s Ukraine Youth Action Network is funded by the Stevens Initiative, which is housed at the Aspen Institute and supported by the Bezos Family Foundation.