About the Author:Maria Oteroserves as U.S. Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs.
I recently met with seven indigenous students from Bolivia; the real superstars and future leaders of the country. These students were selected through a very competitive process to participate in the Study of the U.S. Institute for Student Leaders program sponsored by the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Interacting with these students from my native country of Bolivia reminded me of the dynamic power of diplomacy. Outstanding leaders in their own communities, these students traveled to Tucson, New York City, Boston, and finally here to Washington, DC to discuss with American, Peruvian, and Paraguayan student leaders what it means to be from diverse countries with rich histories. The students were thrilled to discover that they have so much in common with their American peers. When the students return home, they will be able to communicate experiences regarding the shared values and common history of the Americas.
The power of youth leadership should not be underestimated. In what ways have youth had an impact on your community or your country?