Applications from youths in 13 western states are being accepted for a cultural exchange trip to Samoa in December as part of the American Youth Leadership Program exchange led by specialists in the Wyoming State 4-H Office.
Eighteen youths and two adults will be selected for the three week-long trip designed to enhance global scholarship. A similar group visited Mongolia last year led by youth development specialist Warren Crawford and volunteer development specialist Kim Reaman, who are again heading the group.
Information about the exchange and an application form are at the American Youth Leadership Program with Samoa link at http://www.uwyo.edu/4-h/. The application deadline is Monday, April 1.
“The American Youth Leadership Program with Samoa is a great opportunity for youths to experience international travel and learn about other cultures with minimal cost to the participants,” said Crawford. “Not only will participants have an opportunity to experience and learn about global issues, they will make connections and build friendships that will last a lifetime.”
Youths must be 15 years old but not older than 17 when the trip begins.
The project is funded by a $184,090 grant from the United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by University of Wyoming Extension.
The host organization is Tanifa O Le Vai headquartered in Apia, Samoa.
The group will leave Dec. 13 and return Jan. 4.
Youths are selected through an application and interview process from Wyoming, Alaska, Arizona,California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington. Applicants are evaluated and selected on personal leadership skills, involvement in the community, academic and social skills and interest in learning about cultural differences and global issues.
“For most of the stay, the students will live with a Samoan host family and experience the traditional Samoan way of life,” said Crawford. “While there, students will be learning about nutrition and food security issues such as marketing and decision making, cultural connections to food and sustainability of local food production.”
Youths will also participate in community service projects in and around the main island of Samoa.