SUNY Cobleskill Hosts Central American Youth Ambassadors Delegation

January 11, 2012

SUNY Cobleskill, in partnership with Schenevus and Cobleskill-Richmondville High Schools, hosts a delegation of Central American youth from Jan. 17-24. The Central American Youth Ambassadors (CAYA) Program highlights topics such as civic engagement, community activism, entrepreneurship and leadership development. The ambassadors spend three weeks in the United States as part of the program – one week in Washington, D.C., one week at SUNY Cobleskill and one week at Northern Michigan University.


The 25 students, comprised of teenagers from Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Panama, were selected from underserved and/or disadvantaged populations. While at SUNY Cobleskill, the delegation will hear from local and college officials; visit local attractions such as Howe Caverns, tour local businesses to learn entrepreneurship skills; and participate in other leadership oriented activities. The students and chaperones stay with host families in the Schenevus and Cobleskill-Richmondville school districts.


"Hosting students through the CAYA program is a fantastic and rewarding experience," said Schenevus resident Bill Weber, who along with his wife, Denise, opened his home to two students in January 2011. "Our daughter keeps in touch with the two individuals who visited us last year. Thus, the CAYA program has helped three young people grow in their cultural diversity, perhaps leading to life-long friendships."


Funded by the U.S. Department of State within the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Youth Ambassadors Program is administered by the Center for Intercultural Education and Development at Georgetown University. It offers youth from Central America the opportunity to experience and expand their knowledge of U.S. culture, society and education.


The overarching program goal is to increase mutual understanding among peoples of the Americas. Students gain knowledge and experience, but also prepare for a lifetime of leadership and community service.


For more information, contact Susan Jagendorf-Sobierajski, executive director of SUNY Cobleskill's Office of International Education, at 518-255-5558 or e-mail

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