The Youth Ambassadors Program for Argentina & Chile is a three week youth leadership exchange from March 16 to April 6, 2016, based in the U.S. for twenty six Argentine and Chilean teenagers ages 15-17 and four adult mentors. Applications must be submitted until November 20, 2015.
The program aims to develop a cadre of young adults in Argentina and Chile who have a strong sense of civic responsibility, a commitment to community development, an awareness of current & global issues, strong interpersonal leadership skills, willingness to foster relationships among youth from different ethnic, religious, and national groups in both Argentina and Chile, and to promote mutual understanding, respect and collaboration between the United States and South America.
Participants will be required to implement follow-on activities upon their return home that will help the participants stay in touch with each other and reflect on their experiences and integrate that learning into their day-to-day lives at home. An important goal of the program is that the student leaders, now empowered, will train other student leaders through student led community oriented service projects.
The goals of the program are:
- Promote mutual understanding between the people of the Argentina, Chile and the U.S.;
- Prepare youth leaders to become responsible citizens and contributing members of their communities;
- Significantly influence the attitudes of the leaders of a new generation; and
- Foster relationships among youth from different ethnic, religious, and national groups and create networks of hemispheric youth leaders, both within the participating countries and internationally.
What is covered?
There is no application fee.
The United States Government will pay for international transportation to and from the United States, orientations, program and visa fees and administration, site visits and seminars, lodging and meals, some cultural activities, educational materials, accident and sickness insurance. Participants will stay with volunteer host families and in conference centers.
Participants are responsible for expenses related to the application process (copying, mailing, photographs, etc.), passport fees, and spending money for souvenirs and other items in the United States.
Who is eligible to apply?
Student applicants should…..
- Have citizenship and current residency in Chile (applicants with dual U.S. citizenship will not be considered).
- Be at least 15 years old and not more than 17 years old at the time of the exchange;
- Have the ability to speak in English (students will engage in homestays with host families that do not speak Spanish);
- Attend public school or a subsidized private school;
- Not have traveled previously to the U.S. or Europe; and
- Have permission from parents or legal guardians to participate in the three-week program in the United States.
What are the criteria for selection?
Students will be evaluated on the following characteristics:
- Demonstrated interest in and commitment to volunteer and civic activities;
- Ability to work cooperatively in diverse groups and tolerate the opinions of others;
- Leadership potential;
- Proficiency in English;
- Social and communication skills;
- Academic performance;
- Energetic, positive attitude;
- Ability to implement projects that benefit the applicant’s school and/or community.
Applicants who can answer yes to either of the following statements are not eligible to apply.
- Applicants who have previously traveled to the U.S. or Europe for any reason; and
- Applicants who are in the process of applying for U.S. immigration.
- Individuals that make it past the initial application review by our panel will be contacted for an interview in December 2015;
- Due to the large quantity of applications received, it is not possible to inform all applicants of their status. Thus, applicants can assume that they were not chosen if they have not been contacted by the hosting organization by January 2016;
- Additional program questions should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Required Documents to be submitted with a completed Application
- A photo of yourself. (Your face must be visible and clear. Please upload this on your profile page.)
- Proof of good academic performance. 6,0 (out of 7,0) or above. (In most cases, your most recent academic transcript or concentración de notas.)
- Two Letters of Recommendation – the 1st letter should be from a teacher at school or language institute, and the 2nd from an adult at an organization where you volunteer. Neither should be an adult who is related to you.
- Signed Parent/Guardian Information.
You will find a spot to upload each of these within the program application.The Youth Ambassadors program is managed in Chile by World Learning and is sponsored and financed by the Office of Education and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State through the American Embassy in Santiago. The Chilean students were chosen for their leadership qualities, community participation, academic achievements and their English skills.
Two adult counselors traveled with the students. Aside from accompanying the Youth Ambassadors during the program, the counselors will also support the implementation of projects once the students return to their communities.
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