WGI, short for the Wilson Global Initiative, was founded on April 10th, 2014 in Baton Rouge. WGI was founded by Chance Wilson, who had just turned 14 years old a few months prior.
Then 14 year old Chance Wilson in The Straits Times.
Chance, who was an 8th grader at the time, had noticed a perplexing issue. A significant number of his peers couldn't read or write. This shocked him, considering they had been in school all their lives. Chance vividly recalls classmates not being able to read from a book when called on.
So, he went home and did some research on illiteracy and global education. The results were grim. He learned that hundreds of millions of people couldn't read or write. Turning his imagination to action, Chance realized this was a problem and he had to do something about it. WGI was born. There was no money, staff, or resources. Just a middle school kid and his dream.
WGI, led by the now 18 year old Chance Wilson, operates in seven countries around the world. These are the United States, Hong Kong, Singapore, The Philippines, Malaysia, Tanzania, and Indonesia.
WGI Founder Chance Wilson (middle).
In the United States, WGI is promoting literacy through our You Can Read campaign. In Asia, we are providing free English classes through our Read and Rice program. In Africa, we are building digital libraries to increase the spread of information.
WGI is structured through affiliates, which are branches of the parent organization in Baton Rouge. Our affiliates bring our vision and work to different places around the world.