My Experience with YLAI – A U.S. Department of State Exchange Program

From September to October 2018, Meridian International Center successfully implemented the Young Leaders of America Initiative (YLAI) 2018 cohort. This great program which is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, brought 250 YLAI Professional Fellows from Latin America and the Caribbean to expand their leadership and entrepreneurial experience. YLAI is designed to address the opportunity gap for youth, especially women, by empowering business and social entrepreneurs with the training, tools, networks and resources they need to transform their societies and contribute more fully to economic development and prosperity, security, human...

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PAYLP Alumni Share Their Knowledge With Local Communities Back Home

In August 2018, Meridian welcomed 109 high school students and adult mentors from twenty-three African countries to the U.S. for the Pan Africa Youth Leadership Program (PAYLP), an annual three-week academic and cultural exchange on leadership development and civic engagement. Below is a blog post written by Vanessa Elongo Meridian’s PAYLP Intern who is originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and is an international student at George Mason University studying Integrative Studies with a concentration in International Studies. “It has been almost two months that our PAYLP 2018 Alumni of the summer cohort returned to their home...

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Program Theme Spotlight: Technology Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship and innovation are key indicators of a community’s capacity to: grow its economy; develop its workforce; create a diversified workplace; develop leadership skills among its citizenry; and facilitate civic engagement. Entrepreneurship is a tremendous tool for engaging  young people, particularly in underserved communities, by helping them develop the skills necessary to compete in the 21st century economy. Tech entrepreneurship can open up potentially broader opportunities for partnerships with other community stakeholders. Numerous organizations – international, national and local – have focused their resources on developing tech entrepreneurship programs in partnership with educational institutions, businesses and government entities. Developing...

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Visitors from Mongolia translate historical tablet for University of Iowa Library

In October of this year, a five-member group of Librarians from Mongolia participated in a three-week International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) on Library Management.  Beyond Washington, DC, the group traveled to Baltimore, Maryland; Albany, New York; Akron Ohio; Iowa City, Iowa; and Reno, Nevada. Visits to public libraries were a principal component of the program and in one location, Iowa City, local librarians were grateful for the unexpected assistance of an IVLP participant.  The University of Iowa brought out an old wood block tablet from Mongolia to demonstrate the library’s broad reach in showcasing other cultures for the community....

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IVLP Interfaith Group Statement Affirms Importance of Religious Freedom after Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting

On October 15, Meridian International Center implemented, in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Office of International Visitors, a multi-regional project from 26 countries and representing all five major faiths on the theme of Interfaith Dialogue and Religious Freedom. The participants concluded their program in Los Angeles, California on Saturday, October 26 – just as news of the Pittsburgh shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue was breaking. The previous Friday evening was spent in a Los Angeles synagogue, where the group attended a Shabbat service and shared a Shabbat meal. Upon returning to their respective homes, the...

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