Final Day – Youth Ambassadors Program

Categories: August 2013
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Published on: August 7, 2013
The 2013 Youth Ambassadors on their bus trip back to Ottawa.
The 2013 Youth Ambassadors on their bus trip back to Ottawa.

By Stefan Nesic, 2013 Youth Ambassador

New York: All of this appears familiar, but this is the first time that some of us see New York City through our own lenses. The skyskrapers cast immense shadows, and light squeezes through the narrow streets. The speeding cars carry a cool breeze as we are squished through crowds of people. This is when we realize the sheer size of the city and embrace the city life.

On the other hand, Plattsburgh’s small town charm is revitalizing in people like me, a self-proclaimed ‘city boy.’ When people ask me whether I’m home-sick, I honestly reply ‘host-home-sick.’ The people we met in Plattsburgh, our temporary homes, and the university will not easily be forgotten.

The most relaxing experience during the entire day was sitting in Liberty Island and admiring the beauty of arguably the greatest symbol of freedom, the Statue of Liberty. The pools surrounded by the names of victims of 9/11 at the 9/11 Memorial were emotionally and visually powerful.

This entire exchange has been unimaginable and completely memorable thanks to Dr. Kirkey’s careful planning, the program coordinators’ hard work, the adult mentors’ balance of fun and work, and all the participants including speakers and host families.

We visited numerous memorials and reviewed our follow-on-in projects. I still firmly believe that the best part of the program will be when we see every fellow youth ambassador succesful in implementing their project-their passion.

We have learned some things that cannot be taught in school. We have been trained in helping out the community which driven by our enthusiasm will surely make an important impact. On top of all of that, the experience has been so much fun. The restaurants, the hotels, the museums, the speakers- shall I say more?

Without a doubt the best program, exchange, and trip I have ever experienced! Tomorrow, most of us will head home and some of us will wait another day, but one thing’s for sure, the connections between everyone will never disappear.

 

m4s0n501

Day Twelve – Youth Ambassadors Program

Categories: July 2013
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Published on: July 19, 2013
The 2013 Youth Ambassadors work on a group activity at SUNY Plattsburgh.
The 2013 Youth Ambassadors work on a group activity at SUNY Plattsburgh.

By Momina Ghias & Maleeka Thaker, 2013 Youth Ambassadors

 

We’re into our first week, and having an amazing time as Youth Ambassadors up at Lake Champlain. We had the opportunity to discuss our ideas and learn from our Adult Educators on the topics of leadership and being an entrepreneur.

We also played some hilarious team-building games during our breaks. The president of SUNY Plattsburgh even welcomed us all at a reception for the Youth Ambassadors Program with Canada that afternoon! It was an incredible day.

Day Eleven: Youth Ambassadors Program

Categories: July 2013
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Published on: July 17, 2013
The Youth Ambassadors hone their communication and planning skills while having fun and learning more about each other with Michael Cashman, Director of Campus Activities at SUNY Plattsburgh.
The Youth Ambassadors hone their communication and planning skills while having fun and learning more about each other with Michael Cashman, Director of Campus Activities at SUNY Plattsburgh.

by Shayla Commandeur, 2013 Youth Ambassador from Ontario

The Youth Ambassadors Program has been amazing. In one week, I’ve learned more about the United States then I have in the last four years. The coordinators put so much effort into making it an enjoyable experienc,e and they are doing a great job so far.

I’ve made so many unique friends, many of which are from diverse backgrounds. The programs are very informative and the speakers are always entertaining. Our mentors help to motivate us and keep us on track with our projects. I’m finding it easy to remain focused on our tasks and stay engaged, despite the six-thirty AM wake-up time, because every day I look forward to fun activities and interesting sessions.

Getting accepted to this program has made me realize that anyone can make a difference, and make a change as long as they want it enough and persist. I’m looking forward to the upcoming weeks!

Day Seven: Youth Ambassadors Program

Categories: July 2013
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Published on: July 17, 2013
Brandon and mentor Colinda work on Brandon's in-country project together. The adult mentors give advice, review ideas and help the Youth Ambassadors structure their plan. They will continue to advise and guide the students after the three-week exchange is over, when they return home to Canada.
Brandon and mentor Colinda work on Brandon’s in-country project together. The adult mentors give advice, review ideas and help the Youth Ambassadors structure their plan. They will continue to advise and guide the students after the three-week exchange program is over, when they return home to Canada.

by Brandon Finyanos, 2013 Youth Ambassador from Nova Scotia

Students from seven provinces and one territory have gathered from across the country to be a part of the Youth Ambassador’s Program. We have been able to come together and build strong relationships in such a short time. The friendships we have made were done nearly as fast as we seem to be able to discuss and develop ideas. I am amazed at the level of passion and commitment by my fellow ambassadors to plan and implement their ideas to create and provide an essential service to their community and our country.

Dr. James Armstrong Director, of the Redcay Honours Center at SUNY Plattsburgh spoke to us today, and said “If you lecture all the time, where is the opportunity to learn?” Listening to my fellow ambassadors speak, I know I am among a group of the brightest and most passionate people I have ever met. They are making the most out of every chance they get at expressing their own opinions, and yet they are also very willing to collaborate and listen to the opinions of others.

 

Day One: Youth Ambassadors Program

Categories: July 2013
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Published on: July 11, 2013

Over the course of the next three weeks, 17 Canadian Youth Ambassadors and three adult mentors will share their experiences on exchange in the United States on our blog. Visiting Plattsburgh, Hyde Park, New York City and Washington, D.C., the program will focus on mutual understanding, leadership skills, and preparing youth to make a difference in their communities. This is the third year of the Youth Ambassadors Program with Canada, co-sponsored by the State University of New York, Plattsburgh, the U.S. Embassy Ottawa, and Fulbright Canada. Learn more about this year’s participants here.

Youth Ambassadors on their lunch break at the Valcour Educational Conference Center at SUNY Plattsburgh.

By Michelle Clemens, Youth Ambassador Mentor

On the first day of the Youth Ambassador Program with Canada, our 17 bright young participants spent the morning discussing the nature of leadership, and the challenge of getting more students involved in civic action and volunteer work.

We also talked about what makes a good leader, and shared our role models for leadership both at home in Canada, and America. Some of the American leadership role models identified were: George Washington, Martin Luther King, Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Walt Disney and Donald Trump…Among others. Stay tuned for more updates next week!

The Youth Ambassadors have a sing-a-long near the U.S.-Canada border on their trip from Ottawa to Plattsburgh, New York.
Taking photos and enjoying the beautiful scenery in Plattsburgh, New York.

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