Six Wyoming youth will be among 28 from 10 western states experiencing the deserts, tundra forests, snowcapped mountains and ancient nomadic cultural heritage of Mongolia through a youth exchange program administered by the University of Wyoming Extension.
The youth, accompanied by four adults, will leave June 30 and return July 19 and spend time in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city, and various rural locations. The visit is through the American Youth Leadership Program funded by the United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
“The program will provide an opportunity for students to explore global issues common to the western United States and Mongolia,” said Warren Crawford, UW Extension youth development specialist. “Students will also gain real-world experience learning about and living in a culture different from their own.”
Kim Reaman, volunteer development specialist with UW Extension, will also accompany the group.
“This type of experience can be life changing and start a young person down the path to being an involved, global citizen,” she said. “My first international experience was through the International 4-H Youth Exchange to Jamaica. I have had a heart for international programs and the effect they have on a young person’s life ever since. ”
This is the second year youth visited Mongolia through the program. They are selected through an application and interview process from the 13-state western region of the land-grant universities Cooperative Extension System. Finalists are from Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
Participants and hometowns are:
Arizona – Caitlyn Atencio, Lake Havasu; Thelma Magallanes, Suhuarita
California – Sigrid Derickson, Atascadero; Colby Pong, San Clemente
Colorado – Andrea Dean, Fort Collins; Andrea Northup, Sterling
Idaho – Colton Horn, Shoshone
Montana – Sophia Ferst, Helena; Lizzie Gill, Bozeman; Rosalyn Kutsch, Bozeman; David Brink, adult participant, Missoula
New Mexico – Kathryn Homa, Las Cruces; Taylor Nez, Kirtland; Lauren Wilder, Albuquerque
Oregon – Madeline Crabtree, Newberg; Lindsey Ellett, The Dalles; Farrell Fox, Mitchell; Nick Larson, Bend; Sarah Ziemer, Brookings; Mary Beth Eberle, adult participant, Albany
Utah – McKayla Gonder, Manila; Jacob Major, Avon
Washington – Troy Haslem, Battle Ground; Max Hsiao, Vancouver
Wyoming – Elizabeth Barnes, Cowley; Kolby Fenster, Evansville; Jordan Holmes, Newcastle; Lucas Lynch-Parlin, Afton; Justin Mehrer, Rozet; Emily Sikorski, Pinedale; Jerimy Fox, adult participant, Cheyenne