Meridian Youth Programs Alumni Leading Covid-19 Response

In celebration of International Youth Day, on August 12, 2020, this blog post was contributed by Wiem Jbeli, the Atlas Corps Fellow with the Global Connect Division at Meridian International Center. The GlobalConnect Division specializes in the design and implementation of customized programs to address specific issues of need, including youth leadership development, reverse trade missions, professional study tours, stakeholder engagement, capacity building, and cultural orientations for U.S. Department of State and foreign embassies, nongovernmental organizations, foreign governments, and private sector organizations around the world.  In the midst of the universal struggle against the COVID-19 pandemic, youth are playing...


PAYLP Alumnus Brian Sibanda’s Journey from Poverty in Zimbabwe to Scholarship in the United States

For 18-year-old Zimbabwean Brian Sibanda, discovering that he had been accepted to Pomona College in California was nothing short of a dream come true. “I was very shocked and for a couple of days I thought I was dreaming.” A former participant in the Pan-African Youth Leadership Program (PAYLP) administered by Meridian International Center in partnership with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), Brian received a full scholarship to attend Pomona College this year where he is now just days away from completing his first semester. As someone who faced adversity at a young age, this feat represents a major milestone in Brian’s ongoing journey to empower himself and the lives of youth like him in countries across Africa. Continue  

Community Comes Together to Paint Mural in El Viejo, Nicaragua

I’m participating in the Mural Arts Exchange Program through the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, currently traveling throughout Nicaragua to meet with youth and other community groups from five different cities. In each location, we’ll be creating murals together. As of now, we’ve completed three and have two more to go. Here’s a recap of the first mural, in El Viejo.


Obama’s Best Quote from the #SOTU

We may be a little biased, but our ears definitely perked up when we heard this one:


Since we know a thing or two about exchanges here at Meridian, here are a few things you may not know behind this quote: