Guyanese Youth Ambassadors on U.S programme

Guyanese Youth Ambassadors on U.S programme

(US Embassy) Five students and one mentor representing several regions of Guyana have embarked on a three week exchange program to the United States known as the Youth Ambassadors Program (YAP). The YAP group arrived in Denver, Colorado Sunday, October 6, and will travel to Washington D.C. before the program concludes October 29, 2013.

Representing Guyana are Kadeem Gordon, Kaya Dover, Larrex McAllister, Blossom Dublin, Kayshell Jennings, and Ryan Hoppie – Mentor. This is the second group of Youth Ambassadors representing Guyana for the 2013-2014 Youth Ambassadors Program for the Caribbean. The program, which includes participants from the Bahamas, Grenada, Jamaica Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago, focuses on civic education, youth empowerment, environmental issues, social entrepreneurship, civic engagement, and food security.

Through experiential activities, discussions, site visits, training modules, and home stays, participants will have the opportunity to develop the knowledge, attitudes, intellectual skills, and practical competencies to effectively lead efforts for positive social change in their home countries. The Youth Ambassadors Program gives students and adult leaders an opportunity to develop leadership and problem-solving skills that enable them to act as community leaders.

The project aims to hone participants’ sense of civic responsibility and foster civic activism. Prior to their departure, U.S. Ambassador D. Brent Hardt met with the Youth Ambassadors and mentor to congratulate them on their selection and to discuss their visit. The participants shared their backgrounds and personal interests as well as their expectations of the program.

Ambassador Hardt noted that the program provides a unique opportunity to see how young people in the United States are using creative ways to effect change. The Ambassador told the participants that he looks forward to seeing how they seek to become engaged in their communities upon their return in order to foster positive change in Guyana.

He gave the students a preview of what to expect during their visit and emphasized the value for both countries of their participation in this cultural exchange program.

Prior to their departure, the group also met with Dr. Frank Anthony, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport. During the meeting, the group assured the Minister of their commitment to represent Guyana well and discussed how they hope to continue to develop their leadership skills and boost their civic participation upon their return to Guyana.

Minister Anthony congratulated the participants and encouraged them to work on specific programs to address issues and concerns affecting youth ranging from health and fitness, to education and social behavior.

While in the United States, participants will increase their understanding of American institutions, while engaging in civic life in the United States.

Participants will explore facets unique to each country’s history and identity, and engage in discussions and educational activities that promote learning on an academic and a personal level.

Youth Ambassadors are required to implement follow-on activities upon their return home that will help the participants stay in touch with each other, reflect on their experiences, and integrate that learning into their lives. A core goal of the program is for the student leaders, once empowered, to bring their experience to bear in helping encourage and guide other student leaders through community oriented service projects.

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