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Senior State Department Official Welcomes Youth Leaders to U.S.

Ann Stock, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, welcomed more than 150 international youth leaders to the U.S. to begin academic and cultural programs at more than 80 universities and colleges across the U.S.country as part of the Global UGRAD-Pakistan and Global UGRAD in Eurasia and Central Asia programs. Ms. Stock reminded the students that they are citizen ambassadors for their countries, who “will leave a remarkable impact” on their host communities, building relationships “that can and should last.”

She also noted to the students that the exchange doesn’t end when they go home, reminding them of their “responsibility to build and maintain networks” with Americans and with other students on these and similar programs and use these relationships to help them become leaders in their home communities. Ms. Stock also spoke about the variety of unique American experiences ahead of them and the opportunities to learn from those experiences. During questions and answers, students told Ms. Stock they found her speech and the example of her success inspriring.

The students, selected through a competitive process, are from cities and regions across their countries. Pakistani participants hail from small towns in the Northern areas, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan.  Others represent under-served groups in the cities of Rawalpindi, Quetta, Peshawar, Karachi, Islamabad, and Lahore.  Eurasia and Central Asia participants come from diverse regions of their countries such as Khorog in Tajikistan; Ganja in Azerbaijan; Tomsk and Saratov in Russia; Uzhgorod in Ukraine; Namangan in Uzbekistan; and Jalalabad and Osh in Kyrgyzstan.

Students engage in community service work in their host communities in the U.S. as well as explore cultural aspects of the U.S.  and the varied communities that host them, and sharing their culture with Americans. Alumni return home as leaders in their communities, engaging with youth, advocating for disabled, and cleaning their local environments.

The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program in Pakistan and the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program in Eurasia and Central Asia are funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State and administered by IREX.