Hands Across the Hemisphere

Group photo of the Caribbean Ambassadors on the Lawn in front of the Rotunda.

Youth leaders from the Bahamas, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago dashed around the Lawn this week as part of a scavenger hunt designed to familiarize them with Thomas Jefferson’s Academical Village.

The University of Virginia’s Center for Politics hosted the 36 school students and six educators as part of the Youth Ambassadors Program. Operated by the Center’s Global Perspectives on Democracy Program in partnership with the Georgetown University Center for Intercultural Education and Development, the exchange was sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The group participated in educational events and programs focusing on leadership development and civic engagement; worked with Habitat for Humanity on a service project; and attended a session on politics and government with politics professor Larry J. Sabato, the director of the Center for Politics. The visitors also met with Charlottesville-area peers and hosted a Caribbean-culture street performance on Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall. The exchange concluded with a study tour of the Eastern Shore of Virginia that focused on environmental protection and entrepreneurship.

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This interactive program includes groups of all ages from high school student leaders to high-level government officials, promoting core aspects of citizen engagement. The center’s Global Perspectives on Democracy Program enables participants to build leadership and civic engagement skills, identify effective tools for and avenues of civic participation and public advocacy, promote strategic and policy dialogue between government practitioners and citizens, and develop networking opportunities

This was the 32nd exchange group to come to UVA as a part of the Center for Politics’ Global Perspectives on Democracy Program. More information is available at the Global Perspectives on Democracy Program website.

Media Contact

Matt Kelly

University News Associate Office of University Communications