The Partners of the Americas Youth Ambassador Program is now over 20 years old! During this time, we have hosted over 100 teenagers from Rio Grande do Sul, our sister state in the southern part of Brazil.
Six teens are chosen each year to come from Rio Grande do Sul to Indiana for 8 weeks. These students have their summer break during our winter, so they visit between early January and early March. Before they arrive in Indiana, they go through a rigorous selection and preparation program. Their English must be excellent, and they must show they are superior students who have demonstrated the attitudes and skills to adapt to a Youth Ambassador experience.
Similar to the Brazil to Indiana exchange, Indiana sends teenage students to Brazil during our summer months (generally mid-June to mid-July). This exchange is only for a month, however. Hoosier students are not expected to be fluent in Portuguese. Although some foreign language knowledge is beneficial. Brazilian host families and schools expect to accommodate English-speaking Americans. They are expected to demonstrate a strong commitment and the skills necessary to adapt to a Youth Ambassador experience. They must undergo an interview selection and orientation process.
Program Purposes: 1) to experience American (or Brazilian) culture and family life; 2) to participate in meaningful volunteer work that builds understanding of civic action for the public good; and 3) to develop self-awareness and global understanding that fosters leadership skills.
School Attendance: The opportunity for the teens to participate in school is central to the goal of experiencing the life of a typical teen in the host country. All of the teens are expected to be accepted and participate in school. However, they do travel on a tourist visa, not a student visa. They do not need, and are not eligible for, academic credit, allowing broad latitude to the schools for course schedules and requirements. Beyond cultural understanding, the school can also be a key location for Youth Ambassador volunteer and leadership experience.
Helpful Information about Hosting a Youth Ambassador:
Apply to be a Youth Ambassador:
Become a Host Family:
Host Family Orientation Manual
Blogs by Youth Ambassadors:
To download our promotional brochure about Partners, click the icon below!
2016 Youth Ambassadors!
She is a sophomore at Shortridge High School and will be traveling to Porto Alegre, Brazil this year through the Youth Ambassadors Program. While on this trip, she will be learning and participating in an entirely different culture, doing community service, and learning a new language. She is excited to embark on this journey!
She is 16 years old and heading into her junior year of high school. For the past 3 years her family has hosted students through the Partners of America's Youth Ambassador Program. Arianna and the Harris family loved the experience of hosting Brazilian students so much that she wanted to participate this year by traveling to Brazil as a youth ambassador herself for a month!
"We are so happy for Vermeesha and Arianna, both of whom had great experiences participating in this year's Youth Ambassador Program! A big thank you to everyone that made it possible through financial and organizational support!" - Partners of the Americas Board