Being a Youth Ambassador is a life-changing experience. I learned a lot and left motivated to show the world that I am a leader and make a positive impact on society and change peoples’ lives. It’s a big responsibility to represent your country and a great organization – Partners of the Americas. But in the three weeks I spent in DC and Tennessee, I felt like my life stopped and I was living in a dream.
Mountain climbers often speak of false summits; those hills you see that you believe represent the culmination of your voyage, only to find that there is another steeper climb to follow. For Partners, I want to tell you about one first summit that, as real and amazing as it was, was indeed false with respect to the slow and gradual process of building a multifaceted international partnership.
Estamos en una era en la cual el acceso a la tecnología se está democratizando a pasos agigantados, muestra de ello es que en Colombia el Ministerio de las Tecnologías y la Información ha puesto en marcha el plan Vive Digital, el cual propone “tender las autopistas de la comunicación” para que todos los Colombianos cuenten con una conexión a internet, un gran desafío teniendo en cuenta varios factores uno de ellos es la geografía de nuestro país ya que existen zonas con difícil acceso como lo es el caso del departamento del Amazonas, sin embargo no es algo imposible de realizar.
Edited and Published by: Pamela Picon, Intern, Partners of the Americas
Foreword by: Abraham Cisne, Senior Program Officer, Youth Engagement
Partners is proud to highlight that last year´s Youth Ambassadors (YA) program funded by the U.S. State Department was an enormous success, including challenging innovations and involving Partners chapters that haven´t hosted in a long time. The 2014 YA program involved 45 very competitively selected participants from both Venezuela and Colombia who, after a week in Washington, DC, were hosted in three states: Arkansas, Tennessee and Florida. Youth participants ages 15-17 were selected through a process that considered merit, limited income and no previous travel abroad. The program focused on leadership, service/volunteerism, mutual understanding, and long-term engagement. Its sub themes included the environment and public safety.
Partners’ Youth Ambassadors Program, a U.S. State Department sponsored cultural exchange program, brings together youths of limited means and/or with limited international experience, ages 15-18, to build understanding among countries, increase leadership skills, and prepare them to be positive agents of change through volunteer service. In 2012, eleven Guyanese youth and two adult Guyanese mentors participated in the program. While in the U.S., they were engaged with local government and civic organizations, built relationships with host families and youths, and participated in skills-based training that enabled and empowered them to mobilize their communities towards positive change. The youth were empowered to build mutual understanding among countries, enhance leadership skills, be conscious minded, expose themselves to cultures in and out of the country, work and relate with each other, be positive agents of change through volunteer service and replicate what they have learned.