In October 2015, 17-year-old, Patricia Salazar traveled with 19 other youth from Venezuela and Colombia to the United States for one month as a participant in the State Department-funded Youth Ambassadors program. “It was a dream come true…the chance to know, enjoy and learn about cultures different from mine,” Salazar said.
Partners is proud announce the 2016 Youth Ambassadors from Colombia and Venezuela! The group consists of 20 youth and three adult mentors who will travel to Washington, D.C. for one week, and subsequently spend two weeks in either Arkansas or Tennessee. The youth were selected in an open competition for students ages 15-18 who have outstanding school records, display leadership qualities and have demonstrated interest in improving their local community.
Lindsay Cox, a rising senior at Binghamton University in Upstate New York, and Jorge Londoño Mejia, a recent graduate of Universidad EAFIT in Medellín, Colombia, are the 2016 winners of the President's Internship Program's (PIP) Community Based Project Proposal Competition, offered through Partners of the Americas.
There’s something almost magical about landing in a foreign country. Moments before, you were standing on familiar land, surrounded by a familiar tongue, and dealing with familiar customs. But now, you stand in a forest of unknown—a beautiful forest, but it’s a forest that instills in a certain wonder, nervousness, and excitement you have yet to fully understand how to navigate.
Youth and mentor participants will spend three weeks abroad engaging with local government and civic organizations, building relationships with host families and other youth, visiting schools and participating in skills-based workshops that enable and empower them to mobilize their communities towards positive change. Upon returning to the U.S., youth use what they learned throughout the exchange to design and implement service projects that benefit their communities. (Español a continuación)
Este año los jóvenes de Partners of the Americas de 15-29 años participaron en el Dia Global del Voluntariado Juvenil, un evento anual que reúne a miles de jóvenes de todo el mundo a participar, organizar y desarrollar proyectos de servicio existentes o únicas en sus propias comunidades.
It has been very rewarding for me to have supported the Youth Ambassadors Program as a Coordinator in 2014 and 2015. Rewarding, not only because I've had contact with youth who participated in the program and traveled, but because the program is a great means for young people, who see the Youth Ambassadors Program as an opportunity to dream and think that dreams can come true if they take initiative, focus on their performance, and serve in their communities. The program recognizes that all young people are talented and wants to give them opportunities to travel, share their culture, improve their English, and to attend American schools, opening their minds to a new world. It also wants to help them in building their capacity as community leaders through training workshops on leadership skills and development projects, which are carried out in Washington and reinforced with visits to social projects across the U.S.
This past 10th and 11th of September, Partners members, volunteers, board members, and staff gathered from all over the Americas in the beautiful state of Oregon for our What Works! conference hosted by our Oregon-Costa Rica chapter. The event was created to bring our chapter members from North America, Latin America, and the Caribbean together to share experiences and ideas, and to form new alliances with each other.