COUNTRIES: Global
DURATION: 09/01/2014 - 12/31/2019
FUNDER: U.S. Department of State - Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
PARTNER: Amigos de las Americas, Georgetown University, State University of New York-Plattsburgh
CONTACTyouthambassadors@worldlearning.org

Program Description

The Youth Ambassadors Program brings together high school students and adult mentors from across the Western Hemisphere to promote mutual understanding, increase leadership skills, and prepare youth to make a difference in their communities.

Exchange subthemes include human rights, multiculturalism, social justice, and social transformation. These three-week exchanges are sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State.

Participants will engage in workshops, meetings with community leaders, community service activities, interactive trainings, cultural presentations, visits to high schools, local cultural activities, homestays with U.S. American families, civic education programming, and more.

Youth Ambassadors programs commence in various locations across the United States, including San Francisco, CA; Washington, DC; Plattsburgh, NY; Charlottesville, VA; or in Brattleboro, VT. Students then travel in smaller cohorts to host communities across the country. All inbound programs include a segment in Washington, DC.

The U.S. Youth Ambassadors exchanges follow a similar program cycle, beginning with a pre-departure orientation in Washington, DC, or San Francisco, CA, followed by international travel to the exchange country. Single and multi-country exchanges take place in June and July; exact dates will vary by program. U.S. Youth Ambassadors Programs open for summer 2018 include Argentina & Chile, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Uruguay.

Follow-on activities with the participants are an integral part of the program, as the students apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired by implementing projects that serve the needs of their communities.

Are you a U.S. Citizen interested in a YA exchange internationally?

Brazil – June

Dominican Republic – July

Ecuador – June/July

Argentina & Chile – June

Uruguay – June/July

 

Eligibility Requirements

The youth participants will:

  • Be high school students between 15 and 18 years old (at the start of the exchange);
  • Have at least one semester of school remaining after program participation;
  • Be a U.S. citizen;
  • Demonstrate leadership aptitude and an interest in community service and in the program theme;
  • Exhibit flexibility, maturity, integrity, good social skills, and open-mindedness;
  • Have the motivation necessary to be active and successful exchange participants; and
  • Have sufficient proficiency in the language of the exchange (English, Spanish, or French) to participate fully in all exchange activities.

The adult mentor participants will:

  • Be teachers or community leaders who work with youth;
  • Be U.S. citizens;
  • Demonstrate an interest in assisting youth to become productive and responsible members of society;
  • Exhibit maturity and open-mindedness;
  • Be supportive of the teenage participants;
  • Have sufficient proficiency in the language of the exchange (English, Spanish, or French) to participate fully in all exchange activities; and
  • Plan to continue working in teaching positions or other positions of influence on young leaders.

View more frequently asked questions (PDF)

 

Are you interested in a YA exchange in the U.S.?

Brazil – January

Canada – July/August

Haiti – July (French)

Venezuela – September

Argentina & Chile – March/April

Bolivia & Peru – October/November

Ecuador & Colombia – August/September

Paraguay & Uruguay – January/February

Belize, El Salvador, & Honduras – March

Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua, & Panama – January & May (Spanish)

Caribbean: Antigua & Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica, Grenada, Guyana, Suriname, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago – August

 

Eligibility Requirements

The youth participants will:

  • Be high school students between 15 and 18 years old (at the start of the exchange);
  • Have at least one semester of school remaining after program participation;
  • Be citizens of the country they are representing on the exchange;
  • Demonstrate leadership aptitude and an interest in community service and in the program theme;
  • Exhibit flexibility, maturity, integrity, good social skills, and open-mindedness;
  • Have the motivation necessary to be active and successful exchange participants; and
  • Have sufficient proficiency in the language of the exchange (English, Spanish, or French) to participate fully in all exchange activities.

The adult mentor participants will:

  • Be teachers or community leaders who work with youth;
  • Be citizens of the country they are representing on the exchange;
  • Demonstrate an interest in assisting youth to become productive and responsible members of society;
  • Exhibit maturity and open-mindedness;
  • Be supportive of the teenage participants;
  • Have sufficient proficiency in the language of the exchange (English, Spanish, or French) to participate fully in all exchange activities; and
  • Plan to continue working in teaching positions or other positions of influence on young leaders.

View a sample Youth Ambassadors Application for STUDENTS

 

More detailed alumni stories; Project success stories

Program application deadlines vary by country

Countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and The Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay

Program Goals

(as defined by the U.S. Department of State)

  • To develop a cadre of young adults who have a strong sense of civic responsibility, a commitment to community development, an awareness of current & global issues, and strong interpersonal leadership skills;
  • To foster relationships among youth from different ethnic, religious, and national groups; and
  • To promote mutual understanding, respect, and collaboration between the United States and our Western Hemisphere counterparts.

Youth Ambassadors Program: Brazil

VIEW INTERACTIVE

The Youth Ambassadors Program offers both inbound exchanges to the U.S. for high school students from other countries and outbound exchanges abroad for U.S. high school students. Inbound programs are conducted in English unless otherwise noted. For outbound programs, teens and adult mentors should have studied Spanish for at least two years in school, or have intermediate level Spanish proficiency. The Brazil program does not have a language requirement. However, any ability in Portuguese or Spanish would be considered useful in being successful in the Brazil program.

Youth Ambassadors Program Highlight: Caribbean

Examples of Youth Ambassador Alumni Projects

  • Increasing Community Awareness for Mental Health Foundation: Fundraising through donations via monthly electric bills. Oberá, Misiones, Argentina
  • Recycle for Art: Collecting recycled goods to create home décor, Para, Brazil
  • Eating Healthy: Healthy eating education training for children via games and multimedia tools, El Alto, Bolivia

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