A-SMYLE and YES Participants Gather for Civic Education Workshop in DC

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YES participants from Jordan, Turkey, and Israel and A-SMYLE Alumni Coordinator for Montenegro, Ivan Vuksanovic, speak with their host families’ Senator, Kay Hagan (North Carolina).

The Civic Education Workshop, held this year from February 26–March 3, 2012, is one of the leadership development opportunities that a select group of YES and A-SMYLE students participate in during their academic exchange year. Chosen through a competitive application process, 115 students from 38 different countries and representing 30 U.S. states spent one week learning about the civic process, diversity, leadership, and conflict resolution.  Students attended seminars on First Amendment rights and the electoral process, engaged NGOs like the United Nation’s Girl Up initiative and Washington-based organizations Food and Friends and Community Lodgings, and participated in forums at C-SPAN and the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars.  Participants also had the opportunity to meet with State Department representatives and members of Congress to see these civic traits in action.