Kansas American Youth Leadership Program Delegation

The Kansas delegation of American Youth Leadership Program (AYLP) 2014, and family members, got acquainted June 23 evening. We appreciate the hospitality of KPP and especially Tina Williams at International House, Washburn University. Five youth from Topeka and Stilwell Kansas are part of 21 from 7 states who will travel to Washington and Paraguay during July. AYLP engages with new cultures to increase leadership skills and promote volunteer community service. It is funded by the US Dept. of State through Partners of the Americas. Comite Py Kansas will host in PY. Steve Richards is one of 3 mentors with the group.

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Partners new Youth Program in Paraguay

The US Department of State has chosen Partners of the Americans to implement an exchange between the United States and Paraguay.

  • The central theme to the Paraguay program is Environment and Climate Change complemented with the sub-themes of Dialogue and Debate, Community Service and Leadership Development
  • The program will include 21 U.S. participants (18 youth and 3 adult mentors) traveling to Paraguay during July of 2013
  • The delegation will first spend 5 days in Washington DC for the Leadership Program component
  • The entire delegation of 21 participants will travel to three communities in Paraguay: Asuncion, Encarnación and Ciudad del Este for approximately 3 weeks.
  • Partners will select youth from all states.

Tentative timeline:

November – February: Recruitment

March – April: Selection

May – June: Orientation and Logistics

July: Travel

August – September: Follow-on

If you have any questions regarding the American Youth Leadership Program, please contact Melissa Golladay at mgolladay@partners.net or Abraham Cisne at acisne@partners.net.


Youth Volunteer Opportunity

Red2012 World Youth Volunteering Network: Pursue your Passion, Develop your Skills, Multiply your Impact

Are you a young volunteer seeking to pursue your passions, develop your skills and multiply your impact?

Are you part of RED2021 and want to share our message with other young people like you?

Partners of the Americas and the International Organization for Volunteer Effort (IAVE), with air transportation provided in partnership with, American Airlines welcomes you to participate in an open invitation to be a RED2021 AMBASSADOR and represent the network in global events that unite young volunteers on important social issues.

Tell us about the event you would like to participate in and the impact you want to leave on young people by being an Ambassador of RED2021 and you might get access to one of 25 vouchers provided by American Airlines that are reserved by for you.

RED2021 is a partnership between Partners of the Americas and IAVE and was launched in November 2011 as part of the Second World Summit for Youth Volunteering. This event had the support of important organizations like which are committed to the development of innovative social initiatives among young volunteers, leaders and activists all over the world.

The initiative was created as a response to the need to strengthen the commitments of all the young volunteers in the world, providing them with the connections needed to pursue their passions, develop their skills and multiply their impact through volunteering, with a firm commitment to generating a positive global impact.

Together we are more, and better. You make our network the most important platform for youth volunteering in the whole world.

More information and application. RED2021- Information


Summer 2011 KPP Youth Ambassadors Selected!

Lauren Bernsten, from Partners of the Americas had the following to say
about this year’s Kansas YA Program:

Applications  for this year’s Youth Ambassadors were reviewed by a selection committee comprised of organizations we collaborate with here in DC;  the committee consisted of Partners staff and representatives from 2 non-profits, KaBOOM! (www.kaboom.org) and Youth Service America (www.ysa.org). The committee selected finalists who were then asked to participate in a telephone interview.excellent applicants, but only 40 spaces.represent their community and their country in a very positive and 

This was a highly selective and challenging process as they did have many excellent applicants.
The 4 students from Kansas will be:
For travel to Antigua:

Wilhelm Sieck: Goodland High School

For travel to Paraguay:

Casey Spangler:Shawnee Heights High School

Chandler Williams: Newton High School

Anna Balmilero: Lawrence High School

The program will take place between July 19 and August 16, 2011.

Lauren A. Berntsen

Program Officer, Youth Exchanges

Coordinadora de Programas, Intercambios Juveniles

Partners of the Americas

1424 K St., NW, Suite 700

Washington, DC 20005

Calling Youth! 2011 Kansas Youth Ambassadors Program


for the

2011 U.S. Youth Ambassadors Program

Apply to represent the United States as a Youth Ambassador for 4 weeks in the summer of 2011. Selected youth will travel to the Caribbean or Latin America on cultural exchange to learn about leadership and civic engagement!

Partners of the Americas, through a program funded by the United States Department of State, is looking for U.S. youth between the ages of 15 and 18.  Your mission is to:

  • § participate in promoting mutual understanding between the people of Latin America and the U.S.
  • § develop a greater sense of civic responsibility and commitment to community development
  • § build leadership capacity
  • § foster relationships among youth from different ethnic, religious and national groups
  • § explore local and national issues and become involved with or contribute to those issues

Selected youth will travel to Antigua and Barbuda, Chile, Ecuador, or Paraguay for 4 weeks in July and August 2011. While in the selected country, you will attend school, live with a host family, explore cultural and historic sites, participate in community service activities, attend workshops and plan a project to be implemented upon your return to the U.S.

Applicants must meet the following requirements in order to participate:

  1. Be between 15-18 years old at date of travel (Summer 2011)
  2. Currently enrolled in a public high school.  We strongly encourage Juniors and below to apply.
  3. Intermediate level of Spanish skills. Recommended that you have completed Spanish 2 (or equivalent) by date of travel (Summer 2011)
  4. Good academic standing
  5. Volunteer experience
  6. U.S. Citizen or Resident Alien (one parent is a green card holder)

Application deadline is January 17, 2011.

You can download an application here:


WRONG : mbradshaw208@gmail.com

CORRECT: mbradshaw2008@gmail.com

Download the YA Application Form here!

If you are interested in becoming an ADULT MENTOR  for the Youth Ambassadors next summer, please download the information and application here:

Youth Ambassadors Adult Mentor Commitment and Application 2011

Please email and send your application to:
Mary Bradshaw, 2701 Goldenrod Rd. N.Newton KS 67117

Please download this flyer or forward it to those who may be interested–

Youth Ambassadors Promotional Flyer–please forward!

Kansas Youth Ambassadors 2010

Five Kansas high school students were selected to travel to Paraguay in July to represent Kansas, and the United States.  Here is a summary of their experiences and a slide show–

To refresh your memory about who the Youth Ambassadors were, click here

After being welcomed warmly by the Partners Staff in Washington D.C., we began our journey. Many of us had never been to our nation’s capital before, and we were quickly thrown into a fast paced lifestyle. We rode the metro which was an interesting experience for those of us who do not have a metro system in our own communities. Our days were filled with visiting monuments, museums and memorials. We also met with different government officials such as Craig Kelly, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. Mr. Kelly gave us important information on the goals in partnership with other countries and how this program will contribute to U.S. foreign policy goals. We also met with Rigoberto Gauto Vielman, the Paraguayan Ambassador to the US. He and his staff shared information about the culture of Paraguay that helped us once we arrived there.

Twenty-four hours later, we finally arrived in Paraguay where we were warmly welcomed by our host families. Even though our families were wonderful, we all experienced a bit of a culture shock. From the greeting kisses to the crazy driving, there were many differences between the US and Paraguay. The Guarani language was one such difference that we had to deal with. Many of our friends and family spoke Guarani and were excited to teach us words in it.

To download a powerpoint slide show of their experiences click below:

Kansas Youth Ambassadors to PY 2010

The following day we went to one of the shopping malls, met up with the Paraguayan Youth Ambassadors (YAs) and watched Paraguay’s World Cup game. It was a thrilling experience, especially since Paraguay advanced to the next round!

The following week, we went to the US Embassy and met with Liliana Ayalde, US Ambassador to Paraguay. We had a conversation with her discussing Paraguayan culture and then ate lunch with her and the Paraguayan YAs. We also visited the historical city center including the Casa de Independencia, The Panteon de Heroes and the former Palacio Legistivo. We got to visit many other parts of Paraguay including smaller towns around Asuncion and the campo as well. In the small town of Ita, we visited pottery artisans Julia Isidrez and Juana Marta Rodas. They gave us a demonstration on how to make indigenous clay sculptures.

In the campo, we visited San Francisco Agricultural School where high school and college students learned about how to sustain themselves through agricultural projects. One of the highlights of the trip was visiting the Paraguayan YAs volunteer project at Escuela Basica 322 “Profesora Silvia Miranda de Cueto”. The YAs had greatly helped the school by providing it with computers, books and a roof. The elementary school students greeted us with song and dance and it was a heart-warming welcome. During a day of volunteering, we had the opportunity to go to a community day care center and interact with the local children. We got to play games with them and share our music. It inspired us to become more involved in our own communities.

During our last week, we attended various high schools. It was fun to compare the similarities and differences between our communities and schools. The school day was very different than what we were used to; the teachers changed classes instead of the students and the students have breaks to eat snacks and visit with friends. Despite the differences, all of us made many friends.

This experience has been enjoyable and something that all of us will remember for the rest of our lives. From inspiring us to volunteer to making friends across international borders, this trip has greatly impacted all of us.


US/Kansas Youth Ambassadors start their journey

The United States  Youth Ambassadors (including 5 from Kansas!) are shown here  meeting with Ambassador Gauto at the Paraguayan Embassy.

They’re excited to meet more friendly Paragauyans!

To refresh your memory on who is from Kansas, click here!

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