The third major hemispheric 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund workshop will convene in Denver on May 29, coinciding with the newly sworn-in U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Roberta Jacobson traveling to Mexico City to start her new position. Ambassador Jacobson has been one of our most emphatic supporters in the U.S. government. With these milestones, 100,000 Strong in the Americas is poised to launch to a new level of engagement and impact.
100,000 Strong in the Americas is now a permanent part of U.S. educational diplomacy and workforce development efforts.
Since the launch of the initiative, higher education institutions in 19 countries have formed partnerships through 100,000 Strong in the Americas, offering students an enormous choice of countries where they can build their knowledge and skills. The initiative already has commitments for 16 additional Innovation Fund Competitions between 2016 and 2018.
The 100,000 Strong in the Americas partners are particularly proud of the initiative giving students at U.S. and Colombian vocational and technical institutions the opportunity to study abroad. SENA in Colombia has been the cornerstone of this effort, funding a round in 2015 that promoted study abroad or exchange in innovation, research, differentiation of educational approaches to meet varying student needs, and languages. As we convene in Denver, students from SENA’s Centro de Comercio y Turismo studying culinary arts and entrepreneurship will finish their study abroad program at Miami Dade College in Florida. This initiative to expand study abroad for vocational and technical higher education institutions will soon be scaled up in Colombia and extended to Argentina.
The video below from Snow College in Utah gives a flavor of the kinds of experiences students who study abroad through 100,000 Strong in the Americas are having.
The workshop will be a time to celebrate several recent and new Innovation Fund competitions:
- As President Obama announced during his recent trip to Havana, 100,000 Strong in the Americas recently received a multi-year commitment supporting Innovation Fund competitions between the U.S. and Cuban higher education institutions.
- The Coca-Cola Foundation will again be partnering with us to support a competition, this time in environmental sciences with a special focus on water.
- Instituto Nacional de Educación Tecnológica (INET), the vocational and technological higher education system of Argentina, has partnered with 100,000 Strong Americas, and will support a competition pairing INET centers and U.S. community colleges in the near future.
- The Televisa Foundation and the Sistema Nacional de Institutos Tecnológicos Tecnológico Nacional de México has partnered with us for a U.S.-Mexico Innovation Fund Competition, which will open in the near future.
“One of the most inspiring elements of a public-private partnership such as the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund is bringing together multiple stakeholders to build solutions in partnership,” noted Matt Clausen, Partners’ Senior Vice President for Public-Private Partnerships and Senior Director of the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund. “We have accomplished a lot in two and a half years, but there is so much more to come.”