Jamaican youth to visit U.S on cultural exchange

U.S. Embassy Kingston hosted a Youth Ambassadors Pre-Departure and Orientation Session on Wednesday, July 13, 2016.  Young people ages 15-18 years, representing various secondary institutions across the island will participate in a three-week cultural exchange program in the United States. The students and mentors, who were selected by the U.S. Embassy’s Public Affairs Section, will be involved in an intensive and adventurous learning experience in four U.S. states from August 8-29, 2016.

APAO Angela Gjertson woth YAs
Acting Public Affairs Officer Angela Gjertson addressing 2016 Youth Ambassadors during a Pre-Departure Orientation Session

The Youth Ambassadors will spend a week in the U.S. capital, Washington DC, where they will attend meetings with U.S. government officials and visit historic monuments, museums and organizations. During the subsequent two weeks of the program, the group will be divided into four sub-groups, and will each travel to a different U.S. state (North Carolina, Washington, Montana, Oklahoma and Ohio) to live with an American volunteer host family. They will also attend classes at an American high school where they will be further immersed into U.S. culture and learn about the daily lives of American students. They will also have the opportunity to introduce unique facets of Jamaican society through presentations to their American counterparts.  The students will also participate in various community service activities and attend interactive workshops on community and social development.

APAO Angela Gjertson woth YAs 3
Acting Public Affairs Officer Angela Gjertson engages 2016 Youth Ambassadors during a Pre-Departure Orientation Session

Through their experience, the Youth Ambassadors will develop action plans to initiate or strengthen volunteer projects on the island, upon their return.

YA Alum Orville Levy sharing tips and his experience with 2016 Youth Ambassadors during a Pre-Departure Orientation Session

Under the Youth Ambassadors program, the 6 students along with two selected Jamaican mentors will help to build mutual understanding between the people of Jamaica and the United States and further solidify relation ties between our two countries. Students were selected from Old Harbour High, St Mary High, Salvation Army for the Blind and the Women’s Centre Foundation.

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