Announcing the 2023 Stevens Initiative Grantees

April 25, 2023

The J. Christopher Stevens Virtual Exchange Initiative is supporting 16 virtual exchange programs to give 20,000 young people in the United States and the Middle East and North Africa unique international experiences. Over two years, youth will connect across distance and difference, addressing some of the most pressing issues of our time through powerful dialogue and project-based exchanges with their global peers. Participants will develop podcasts on current events, write and produce songs about social issues, develop a sustainable solution to a challenge in their community, reflect on the role of technology in our lives, and more. This portfolio of grantees also includes two programs for educators, where training and firsthand experience with virtual exchange prepares them to implement a virtual exchange of their own.

Read more about the 2023 Grantees below:

  • Amideast’s Qisasna facilitates cross-cultural exchange between young people in the United States and Yemen by providing them with the skills they need to produce podcasts on shared challenges and opportunities between youth.
  • An-Najah National University’s Climate Futures Exchange is a classroom-based exchange that engages students from An-Najah National University and Arizona State University to discuss a range of climate change issues and strategies to address them when designing and implementing new buildings.
  • Arizona State University’s Future Educators for Inclusion engages college students from Morocco and the United States through mutual discovery, shared learning, and local action to address the global challenge of disability inclusion as they prepare to become classroom teachers.
  • Culturingua’s Alliance of Young World Actionists engages young American and Libyan leaders focused on local and global public health challenges and their causes.
  • Global Ties KC’s FIRST Robotics Virtual Exchange connects participants from Libya, Morocco, and the U.S. through cultural exchange and technical sessions related to STEM and robotics.
  • iEARN-USA’s Storytelling for Social Change builds global leaders by engaging Algerian, Tunisian, and American youth in global collaboration to tell stories about real world issues in their local communities.
  • Institute of International Education’s Harnessing Innovation through Virtual Exchange for Enhanced Results develops intercultural communication, problem-solving, and leadership skills among a diverse group of students at participating universities in the United States and Middle East and North Africa.
  • IREX’s Global Solutions places college students from the United States with peers in Iraq or Jordan in binational teams to collaborate on innovative solutions related to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals through virtual exchange.
  • Missouri State University’s Global Teacher Education Exchange brings new and future K-12 educators from Libya, Morocco, and the United States into a vibrant professional learning community where they engage in cross-cultural collaboration and prepare to teach for global understanding.
  • PATHWAYS Institute for Negotiation Education’s Game Changers: Creative Negotiation Skills builds confidence and skills for creative negotiation, problem-solving, and leadership among university students coming together from Israel and the United States.
  • Plugged In Band Program’s Peace Tracks is a cross-cultural, music-focused online youth exchange that provides high school students with an unforgettable opportunity to connect with peers in other countries to get to know them, learn about their cultures, and collaborate over the course of a semester on an original song.
  • Smithsonian Science Education Center’s Smithsonian Youth STEM Exchange brings together young people in Iraq and Michigan, United States, to discover, understand, and find solutions to sustainability issues in their local and global communities.
  • Soliya’s Connect Program, in partnership with colleges and universities in the United States and in the Middle East and North Africa, brings together students for four-to-eight weeks to discuss potentially divisive current global events and issues in the presence of facilitators trained in dialogue and conflict resolution.
  • Soliya’s Global Circles bring together young adults and professionals for two-week discussions by facilitators trained in dialogue and conflict resolution, with a particular focus on the impact of globalized technologies on society, and is open to direct enrollment.
  • Texas International Education Consortium’s Business & Entrepreneurship Virtual Exchange connects faculty from universities in Iraq and Texas, U.S., through virtual exchange, preparing them to implement project-based virtual exchanges on a variety of business and entrepreneurship topics in their courses that will develop key academic skills and cultural competencies.
  • World Learning’s The Experiment Digital Leadership in STEM equips high school-aged youth to leverage their interests and skills in STEM to achieve personal and professional goals while giving back to their community.

Educators along with schools, districts, postsecondary institutions, and nonprofit organizations can have young people participate in a virtual exchange program implemented by a Stevens Initiative grantee by joining a program. Educators, youth organizers, and administrators can mobilize youth participation by sharing opportunities with their students or youth participants to apply to an open-enrollment virtual exchange program funded by the Stevens Initiative.

The 2023 Stevens Initiative Grantees are supported by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Subscribe here for updates on the impact that these programs have on young people for years to come.

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