Even in Norway, youth fall between the cracks. Exchange participants study how to save them.

After flying from Norway that afternoon, Edvard Eidsvåg (Eddi, for short) was left wide awake on a late night in March. He wandered the streets around his Dupont Circle-area hotel, searching for those many view as the outcasts of society: the drug addicts and the homeless. That night in March, Eddi sought out the very people he claims society tends to ignore. Eddi is Founder and CEO of People Project (or Pøbelprosjektet), a Norwegian organization dedicated to providing opportunities for at-risk youth. He and his colleague Lene Walle, Regional Manager of People Project, arrived in Washington, DC on March...

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Tragedy and opportunity | Reflections from a YLAI fellow

Kheston Walkins is a young entrepreneur from Trinidad and Tobago who was selected to attend the 2016 Young Leaders of the America’s Initiative (YLAI) pilot program by the U.S. Department of State. This presidential initiative supports social and business entrepreneurs from across Latin America and the Caribbean. Here are some of his reflections on his experience attending this prestigious U.S.-based exchange. Tragedy and Opportunity: it is a strange courtship that is as clumsy as a duck’s waddle, yet the two travel abreast almost inseparably. My name is Kheston Walkins, and I am from Trinidad and Tobago. Let me tell...

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If There’s A Will, There’s A Way

Renowned philosopher Confucius once said “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” Perseverance will get you somewhere, and sometimes, it ends up being a better place than you originally envisioned. One of the purposes of professional exchange programs is to motivate participants to realize their potential and to give them opportunities to connect with new people and understand the advantages of social entrepreneurship through exchange of ideas and experiences. This gives them the tool set to persevere through the challenges Confucius referred to so long ago. Professional Exchange Program alumnus Moreblessing...

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From Miami to the Mile High City: My YLAI Experience

Alejandro Carbonell is a young entrepreneur from Panama who was selected to attend the 2016 Young Leaders of the America’s Initiative (YLAI) pilot program by the U.S. Department of State. This presidential initiative supports social and business entrepreneurs from across Latin America and the Caribbean. Here are some of his reflections on his experience attending this prestigious U.S.-based exchange. Written March 11, 2016  After a short flight from Panama, and a very long wait in Miami’s Airport, I finally went through the door, looking for some sort of sign that I could recognize of the YLAI program. Instead I saw two...

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To Go Far, Go Together

From March 7-13, 2016, we recognize, participate, and celebrate public-private partnerships (PPPs) during the annual Global Partnerships Week (GPW). With an all-day kickoff held at the United States Institute of Peace on Monday, March 7, 2016, public and private organizations were able to convene to recognize the critical role PPPs play in today’s world. As a team member of GlobalConnect, I’ve come to recognize the value each program brings not only for new opportunities given to participants, but the long-term partnerships that come out of them. GlobalConnect’s clientele varies from U.S. government agencies to non-profits organizations to private companies....

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