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Global Awareness through "Edutainment"

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ON LOCATION

Jenna Arnold travels the world for her reality show "Exiled!” Here she is on location in India.

Jenna Arnold (M.A., International Education Development, 2005) was born with a fascination for faraway places.
The Pennsylvania native was so intrigued by outer space that she minored in astrophysics at the University of Miami. But ultimately, earthly exploits beckoned more than celestial ones: Arnold is currently on a mission to bring cultural awareness to people around the world through a phenomenon aptly called: “edutainment.”

Arnold attributes her passion for global issues to an early experience. Troubled by the socioeconomic issues she encountered on a school trip to Mexico, she grew frustrated by a friends’ dismissive reaction to what she had witnessed. “I was taken aback by the bubble in American society,” she recalls. “I thought, ‘Wow, they don’t care.’”

Arnold’s indignation developed into a mission: “How do I make them care?”
 
Inspired to pursue education at the graduate level, Arnold had little trouble deciding on where: “I always knew I would go to TC for the prestige of the name and the people who had come before me. The fact that Dewey used these handrails—there was a sense of legacy that drew me to the school,” she says. Supportive peers with diverse perspectives “brought the world into Horace Mann,” says Arnold
 
After she worked at the United Nations as a media and education specialist, Arnold began developing a vision for “popping the bubble.” In 2006, she founded Press Play Productions to inspire cultural awareness and youth participation in global causes through media. Her reality show “Exiled!” began airing on MTV in summer 2008. 
 
Chronicling the lives of American teenagers who are temporarily immersed in different cultures throughout the world, Arnold hopes to “surface compassion” among young Americans by encouraging them “to learn about things outside their borders” and “challenge stereotypes.” 
 
Thus far, as befits someone who once pursued astrophysics, the sky appears to pose no limit to her success.

 

 

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