Young Bahamians to represent the Bahamas in the US
U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, John Dinkelman took a moment out of his busy schedule on Wednesday, January 23 to meet with excited students who are headed to Denver Colorado and Washington, D.C. for the U.S. Embassy’s first Youth Ambassadors exchange program. Through a partnership with The Bahamas Red Cross, four students with a demonstrated commitment to community service were selected to join youth leaders from Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Grenada for three weeks of hands-on community-based activities designed to develop their conflict resolution and leadership skills.
The five youth leaders who were selected for the first of a series of U.S. Embassy Youth Ambassadors Programs are: Mr. Jeremy King from St. Anne’s School, Mr. Answell Johnson from Government High School, Miss Lonelle Sweeting from Temple Christian School and Miss Christina Mounts from St. Anne’s School. Ms. Claudette Thompson, from Temple Christian High School, will accompany the students throughout their stay and serve as a mentor upon their return.
During the meeting, Chargé Dinkelman encouraged the students to make the most of this unique leadership experience and to commit to using their new leadership skills when they return in a manner that will have a noticeable impact on their community. He also applauded the Youth Ambassadors’ parents for raising such exceptional individuals, noting that the “acorn never falls far from the oak.”
The Youth Ambassadors Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and has expanded to 25 countries, across the Caribbean and Latin America in just 10 years. The program brings talented high school students to the United States to promote mutual understanding, increase their leadership skills, and prepare participants to make a difference in their home communities by becoming active and engaged citizens through service.
The next group of Youth Ambassadors will be selected in the spring for a similar three-week exchange planned for October 2013. Bahamian high school students, particularly those residing on Grand Bahama and The Family Islands, who are interested in applying to the U.S. Embassy’s Youth Ambassadors Program should send a short resume and a statement of interest via email to NassauExchanges@state.gov.