Youth Ambassadors for Community Service 2024
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION The U.S. Embassy France Public Diplomacy Section of the U.S. Department of State announces an open competition for organizations to submit applications to implement an exchange program for up to 30 French high school students, in the United States, for fifteen days in July and/or August 2024. Through the Youth Ambassadors for Community Service program, up to 30 young adults from France between the ages of 15 and 18 will develop the knowledge and leadership skills necessary to become more engaged in their communities, learn about the U.S. education system, and will further their understanding of the United States. Please follow all instructions below. Purpose of the Youth Ambassadors for Community Service Program: Established in 2008, the Youth Ambassadors for Community Service Program selects high-school participants from underserved backgrounds across France, including the French Caribbean, to participate in a yearlong leadership training program that encourages volunteerism, self-confidence, intercultural sensitivity, and independence. Participants will attend two pre-departure training sessions between January 2024 and June 2024, as well as a debriefing upon their return, organized by a different French implementing NGO, in coordination with the organization awarded the overall grant. In partnership with the U.S. Embassy in Paris, the recipient organization will design the two-week U.S. exchange program, in July and/or August 2024, which will enhance participants’ understanding of American democratic institutions and volunteer initiatives. Participants will travel to Washington D.C. for initial programming. After spending time in Washington D.C., they will be divided into subgroups in three different cities/host communities, where they will be placed with American host families and meet American students their age. They will then return to Washington D.C. for debriefing and evaluation, as well as visits to the Department of State and the French Embassy to the U.S. Participants will engage in a variety of activities, including but not limited to workshops on leadership and community service, community site visits related to program themes, interactive training and discussion groups, volunteer opportunities, visits to educational facilities, local cultural activities, homestays, and other activities designed to achieve the program’s stated goals. The exchange must include multiple opportunities for participants to have significant, meaningful interactions with their American peers. Follow-on activities with the participants are an essential part of the program, and the exchange activities should prepare participants to apply the knowledge and skills that they will have acquired during their time in the United States in the planning of concrete projects in their home communities. Program Objectives: Promote equal opportunities for all and encourage knowledge-sharing and intercultural dialogue between French and American youth. Raise awareness about civic engagement and volunteerism among young people. Strengthen Franco-American friendship and understanding through soft diplomacy. Offer French youth the chance to represent their peers and participate in civic initiatives abroad. Build leadership skills, encourage volunteerism, self-confidence, intercultural sensitivity, and nurture excellence and civic engagement among young leaders from underserved communities. Allow participants to become pillars of community organization, keeping their peers involved in positive social activities and promoting tolerance and achievement. Provide participants with tools to build alliances with American counterparts and to produce positive change in underserved communities. Program Outline: Applicants must demonstrate their capacity for conducting international exchanges in the U.S.; administering exchanges focused on youth that involve different geographic regions; implementing exchange projects that address specific policy challenges; and providing substantive programming and leadership training for youth. The award recipient will be responsible for the oversight and management of performance of all sub-award recipients under the award. U.S. Embassy France reserves the right to reduce, revise, or increase proposal project configurations, budgets, participating countries and regions, and participant numbers in accordance with the needs of the program and the availability of funds. The budget should include international travel to and from the U.S. for up to 30 participants (including domestic travel for up to 25 metropolitan participants to and from Paris and their French city of residence). One staff member must accompany participants for the international travel (France-U.S.-France). The budget should include the in-country travel and local transportation, lodging, activities, food, insurance, and ESTA costs for up to 30 participants. As participants are under 18, they must be accompanied by facilitators and the host families must be validated by the recipient organization. Participants and Audiences: Up to 30 outstanding French high school students, between the ages of 15 and 18, many from underprivileged backgrounds with leadership potential and commitment to civic engagement. For more information, eligibility, and deadlines please read the Notice of Funding Opportunity PDS-France-FY2023-03 and/or refer to the U.S. Embassy in France website (Grants Programs). Questions can be directed to GrantsFrance@state.gov We do not provide any pre-consultation for application related questions that are addressed in the Notice of Funding Opportunity.