We had the good fortune of connecting with Susan Wemette, PhD and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Susan, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
Blue Planet Global Education coaches teachers on using international classroom-to-classroom collaborations to teach global competence and core curriculum. We want to make sure the next generation is ready to take on an increasingly globalized world with the ability to communicate and collaborate across borders, to understand and celebrate diverse cultures, and to recognize their responsibility as global citizens. In our collaborations, students in both countries learn about another country and its culture from a primary source: a peer who actually lives there. The kids make the shift from “foreign” to “friend,” dispelling stereotypes and racial biases as they ask questions, exchange ideas, and create a collaborative project together. We believe this work not only helps students get ready for future jobs, but also contributes to a more peaceful and just society.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I started my career in the theatre, earning both BFA and an MFA in Acting. I loved performing, and when I wasn’t performing, I was often supporting myself as a teaching artist, working in schools and youth centers. I found I loved teaching through and with the arts, which evolved into a career as the director of education for a regional theatre company. It was in this position that I was able to create writing and performing programs for kids of all ages and in many different circumstances, including teen moms, at-risk kids in crisis shelters, and students with severe disabilities. I love using theatre to give students a voice to express themselves, to share their thoughts and feelings in a creative format. As part of my work at the theatre, I created an initative called “Children of Conflict,” which was an international collaboration among students in South Florida and their peers in Rwanda, Kosovo, and South Africa and culminated in an performance of the students’ original writing. This project sparked my interest in connecting children across borders, which is what eventually led to the creation of my own company, Blue Planet Global Education.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’d start at the Norton Museum of Art; they just did a huge expansion and the new building and gardens are gorgeous. They also have a great little restaurant where you can eat outdoors and look at the sculpture garden, so I’d stop there for lunch while roaming around the museum. If you go on a Friday, stay for ART AFTER DARK, when they have concerts, cocktails and special events. On Saturday morning, head to the WPB Greenmarket. Grab apple cider donuts, cafe con leche, and watch the kids and puppies. For lunch, head over the bridge to the sandwich shop at Buccan, get some takeout, then make a picnic on Palm Beach. If you’re in for shopping, go to Rosemary Square or the Palm Beach Outlets – both are good for dinner and people watching, as well. I love Clematis Street – the restaurants and night life are wonderful (but a little challenging right now due to social distancing).
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Cora Bresciano, my dear friend and business partner, and I created this company in 2008 on her patio with a laptop and a bottle of wine. We have both worked tirelessly (and joyfully) over the past twelve years as the company got up and running, grew, and evolved into what it is now. While doing this, we’ve each maneuvered through a couple of advanced degrees, the birth of children, a divorce, a marriage, and a few moves. I could not have done any of this without her support. I also want to thank Jon Wemette, Blue Planet’s board chair (and my husband), who provides advice, love and support while also chasing around our twin pre-schoolers. He rocks!