Thirteen Chilean students from subsidized public high schools in the country were selected among 270 candidates to represent Chile in the Youth Ambassadors program in the United States. The program is sponsored and funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and made possible through the U.S. Embassy in Santiago and World Learning.
The students, ranging in age from 15 to 17, will travel to the United States from March 16 through April 6, 2016. Their program will include tourism and cultural activities, and the opportunity to learn more about U.S. culture by living with host families, visiting schools, and participating in social activities and volunteerism.
The objective of the Youth Ambassadors program is to help talented students develop personal leadership skills, encourage a sense of civic responsibility to support their communities, promote mutual respect, ethnic and religious tolerance, and create a network with peers in the Hemisphere.
Upon their return to Chile, the students will develop a project or social initiative to help resolve a difficulty in their local community by applying the tools learned during their visit.
The Youth Ambassadors program is highly competitive and the selection process was difficult due to the excellent applicants. The Chilean participants were selected for their outstanding leadership, community engagement, academic achievement, and understanding of English.
Two adult mentors will travel to the United States with the students and were chosen through an open competition. In addition to accompanying the Youth Ambassadors, the mentors are responsible for supporting the students in the implementation of their projects upon their return to Chile.
The winners of the 2016 Youth Ambassadors program are:
- Región de Arica y Parinacota, Arica: Cristóbal Alonso Pizarro González, Liceo Domingo Santa María
- Región de Tarapacá, Iquique: Consuelo Alexandra Zambra Villalobos, Colegio Hispano Británico
- Región de Valparaíso, Los Andes: Vicente Andrés Salas Ramírez, Liceo Maximiliano Salas Marchán
- Región Metropolitana, Peñaflor: Isidora Vania Cubillos Ruiz, Liceo Carmela Carvajal de Prat
- Región Metropolitana, Peñaflor: Ignacio Alexis Ovalle Crespo, Instituto Nacional
- Región Metropolitana, Maipú: Camila Teresa Aguillón, Liceo Bicentenario de Niñas de Maipú
- Región Metropolitana, Santiago; Camila Constanza Badilla Núñez, Liceo Bicentenario de Talagante
- Región de O’Higgins, San Fernando: Laura Belén Alarcón Ferreira, Colegio San Fernando College
- Región del Maule, Molina: Luis Felipe Arcos Chamorro, Liceo Bicentenario de Molina
- Región de Los Lagos, Puerto Montt; Sayuri Chiba Hernández, Colegio Chileno Norteamericano
- Región de Los Lagos, Quellón: Fernando Nicolás Tapia Flores, Liceo A.E. Paulo Freire
- Región de Los Lagos, Ancud: Daniela Paz Calfui Muñoz, Centro Educacional San Andrés
- Región de Aysén, Puerto Aysén: Kari Daniela Medina Millalén, Colegio Kalem
Adult mentors are: Camila Andrea Avila Santana, Quellón (Región de Los Lagos), and Francisco Aaron Ortíz Navarro, Machalí (Región de O’Higgins).