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Stevens Initiative reveals 18 virtual program grants

The US Department of State-sponsored Stevens Initiative has announced 18 grants to fund virtual exchange programs to ensure young people can develop cross-cultural relationships and vital skills during the coronavirus crisis.

Participants from 11 Middle East and North Africa countries and the Palestinian Territories will be funded. Photo: Hassan OUAJBIR/ Pexels

The grants will fund up to 4,500 new youth participants

As a result of the pandemic traditional in-person programs have been cancelled, virtual alternatives offer students a “sustainable and accessible” global learning tool, the organisation maintained.

“We are revamping curriculum, leveraging technology, and innovating to build programs that might not have existed otherwise”

“In light of the immense disruption to instruction that’s taken place due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Stevens Initiative is steadfast in its commitment to supporting virtual exchange programs that engage young people in collaborative learning and dialogue experiences,” said Mohamed Abdel-Kader, executive director of the Stevens Initiative at the Aspen Institute.

“In a matter of months, we’ve been reminded again and again of our interdependence, the need for connection, and the importance of preparing the leaders of tomorrow to be globally competent.”

The grants will fund up to 4,500 new youth participants in 11 Middle East and North Africa countries and the Palestinian Territories and in 24  USstates, three tribal communities, the US Virgin Islands, and Washington D.C., the Stevens Initiative detailed.

“Together, we are revamping curriculum, leveraging technology, and innovating to build programs that might not have existed otherwise.

“While each program is unique, we all share in wanting to develop a more globally-minded and resilient generation of changemakers,” Christine Shiau, managing director of Stevens Initiative added.

“We are stepping up to ensure Americans and students and teachers across the Middle East and North Africa can continue to engage, learn, and build lasting relationships with each other,” ” added assistant secretary Marie Royce, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The full list of programs receiving grants include:

  • AMP Global Youth’s Global Scholar Program in the US and MENA.
  • Citizen Diplomacy International of Philadelphia’s How to Succeed as an Innovator program for STEM students in Philadelphia and Egypt.
  • Creativity for Peace’s Transformational Encounters program connects American, Palestinian, and Israeli youth.
  • Cultural Vistas’ Learning, Information, Networking, Collaboration STEM program.
  • Engineering World Health’s from undergraduate STEM students from the US and Lebanon.
  • Global Education Benchmark Group’s Sustainable Development Virtual Exchange for US and Moroccan high-school students.
  • Global Ties Kansas City’s Morocco-USA Virtual Exchange Program.
  • International Education and Resource Network’s 10-day Digital Storytelling Workshop.
  • Madison Area Technical College’s Economic and Social Entrepreneurship in a Post-Covid World engages underrepresented community college and high school learners in cross-cultural learning.
  • The Marshall Legacy Institute’s Peacemakers and Problem Solvers uniting US and Yemeni high school students.
  • Missouri State University’s Virtual Exchange for Teacher Candidates from Morocco and the US.
  • Southern New Hampshire University’s Global Education Movement for displaced people.
  • Texas International Education Consortium’s Virtual Exchange for Undergraduate Nursing in Texas, Egypt and Jordan.
  • The African Middle East Leadership Project’s Global Allyship Curriculum matches young social activists in the US and the MENA region.
  • The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at University of Montana’s Connecting Montana and Egypt in a Global Leadership Initiative.
  • United Planet’s American-Iraqi Public Health Teams for high school and university youth.
  • United Planet’s Global Virtual Exchange Teacher Training and Professional Development for teachers from diverse populations in Iraq, Jordan, and the US.
  • WorldChicago’s Youth Diplomats for youth in Illinois, Florida, Missouri, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia.

For more information about the program, see here.

The Stevens Initiative is also supported by the Bezos Family Foundation and the governments of Morocco and the United Arab Emirates.

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