Last month, ten high school students from across the U.S. were selected to represent their peers in Colombia based on academic achievements, displayed leadership qualities, and community involvement. They ventured first to Washington, D.C. for a pre-workshop, and then abroad, where they were immersed in a new culture and surroundings. Here, two Youth Ambassadors recount their experiences that forever changed them, and brought them one step closer to becoming global citizens.
Through Partners of the Americas’ Youth Ambassadors program, we aim to strengthen mutual understanding, awareness, and cooperation between the people of the United States and Colombia.
A través del programa de Jóvenes Embajadores, Partners of the Americas aspira a fortalecer la comprensión mutua, la conciencia y la cooperación entre los Estados Unidos y Colombia.
In 2007, Lesly Zerna traveled to the U.S. from Bolivia as a Youth Ambassador. Ten years later, she shares her amazing journey of growth and service through the Partners of the Americas Network.
PartnersCampus Goiânia is the first of our Brazilian student chapters and during its creation, the students thought a lot about what their chapter should focus on. They agreed that their desire was not to change the world, but rather to empower individuals to help themselves. Since then, the chapter has been working with cis and transgender women, refugees, immigrants, and ESL students.
Joandriz Gonzalez, 17, traveled from her hometown of Caracas, Venezuela to the United States last fall. She was a participant in Partners’ State Department and U.S. Embassy-sponsored Youth Ambassadors (YA) program, which gives high schoolers the opportunity to travel internationally, build and improve leadership skills and develop a commitment to service.
"Our experiences were challenging, but they made us stronger. I learned the history of the United States, Tennessee and Johnson City; I learned about America and its people – how they really are, not the stereotypes that surround them."