Our U.S. Department of State high-school exchange students are some of the best and brightest from countries around the world. Through programs like the American Serbia and Montenegro Youth Leadership Exchange (A-SMYLE), Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX), and Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES), the U.S. Department of State brings nearly 2,000 future leaders to live with host families and study in American high schools across the United States.
This year, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is doing more to help these amazing young people in our Youth Exchange Programs make lasting connections while they’re here in the United States and equip them with skills that they can use to make positive changes in their own communities and beyond.
One of these exciting workshops, Youth TechCamp, wrapped up in Burlington, VT. This was the culmination of a six-month Global New Media Lab online training course. Twenty-six students came together to learn how social media can go beyond sharing photos and keeping up with friends. These popular platforms can effect positive change and spur civic engagement.
The students met one-on-one with some of the pioneers in this field. Teams from Witness, Indiegogo, Edikè Ayiti, and the experts at Project Harmony International -- who hosted the camp -- taught them advanced skills in video production, blogging, advocacy communication, online fundraising, and mobile technologies. They came away from the week with individual action plans for their home communities.
These young leaders have an incredible opportunity and, now, a bigger toolkit, to put their talents to work and share their own expertise. We wish them all luck and can’t wait to see what they do next!
Check out their projects and follow their next steps using #YouthTechCampVT on Twitter.