On January 25, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton welcomed 45 Brazilian Youth Ambassadors and two educators to the U.S. Department of State. The Secretary celebrated the program’s tenth anniversary and highlighted the importance of engaging youth worldwide.
Since 2002, students chosen from Brazil’s public schools for their leadership and community service have visited the United States for a three-week exchange program sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the U.S. Embassy in Brazil. This year’s program, administered by World Learning, once again brought Brazilian youth, ages 15-18, to American schools and communities in Washington, DC; Seattle, Washington; Bozeman, Montana; Cleveland, Ohio; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Charlotte, North Carolina. During their program, the Brazilian Youth Ambassadors engage and assist American volunteer and community service organizations in their respective U.S. host communities. They also learn about and experience American culture through homestays, building links with American civil society and schools. The students gain additional leadership skills and new perspectives to take back and apply to their own service projects in their home communities in Brazil.
The Youth Ambassadors program underscores the Secretary’s priorities of engaging international youth in meaningful dialogue, fostering relationships among youth from all backgrounds and creating networks of youth leaders. It also is an important element of the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs’ social inclusion agenda that seeks to ensure distinct groups of people are not excluded from access to goods and services, basic security and human rights.
Since starting in Brazil in 2002, the Youth Ambassadors Program has expanded to 25 countries, including Brazil, across the Americas to bring together high school students and adult mentors to promote mutual understanding, increase leadership skills, and prepare youth to make a difference in their communities. Exchanges have been primarily from Latin America and the Caribbean to the United States, but American Youth Ambassador delegations from the United States have also been participating in similar programs.
For additional details on the Youth Ambassadors Program visit http://exchanges.state.gov/youth/programs/ylp/current-youth-leaderships-programs.html.
Media contact: Darla Jordan, (202) 531-5678, WHAPress@state.gov