State Department Exchange Students Improve Their Communities Through Social Media

Posted by Ann Stock
May 28, 2013
Students Use Computers and Tablets at a School in Massachusetts

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.

About the Author: Ann Stock serves as Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs.



Jjingo B.
May 30, 2013
When we think about bootstrapping ,social media is one of the way one can keep their start up running before venture capital funding and advance it to the next level? For internet Marketers , publishers and communicators , eCommerce need to focus on how they can make a difference, and that begins with thinking. Can you see the big picture of your organization, your industry and the business. 1. There Inter net's leading retailer of digital products which you can decide to sell, promote, or shop for digital goods ; Work at home , buy what you want and sale what you have, no matter where you are , Right on your computer no matter how much money you have and no matter the level of education 2. social media has become an important part of communication culture, considering the impact just as people share information , conduct online meetings and E-government as this speeds up decision making and minimizing administration costs in form of as allowances this helps such small undertakings save money in the process 3. You Enhance your expert status by writing informative articles; position yourself as a contact person for other professionals who can benefit from your information and communication; build reputation , keep your start-up running and you build credit worthiness for venture capital funding and advance it to the next level.
Eric J.
United States
June 6, 2013
I feel priviledged to have been working in audio production at the time analoge gear was giving way to automation and computerization , though it also brands me as an anacrinism from the last century. To those who were born into "the digital age", bites and pixels don't tell the whole story, and be careful what you give yourself to. Lest you become dependant upon it. Thus "addicted to texting" , I've heard, seems pretty absurd, but it's a wierd , weird world we live in. It's just a tool, like money is a tool, a hammer to drive a point? What then does social media do illuminate one's true nature? When mankind technologicly evolves beyond his ability to use it wisely? Ergo -"Peace and Prosperity". as policy. Social media has become a new theater of war in the "war of ideas". Ergo- Arab Spring, and the responses of dictators. A wise leader would step aside, rather than cling to power the people have revoked by popular demand> as some have done via the power of social media. While others become an ugly spectacle upon the world stage. "Welcome my friends, to the show that never ends." as the song goes... Mankind's ability to evolve socialy has outstripped and outpaced many government's abilities to evolve along with it, and so go with the flow. Ergo- "Resistance is futile", though like Star Trek's BORG, dictators will insist on staying longer than they're wanted. Some say they want to create a better world, but it's up to the twenty-somethings of today to build it. - a cog in the machine? -or the flywheel, initiating momentum to achieve humanity's potential? EJ


Latest Stories