ZIMENA Rasheed, who represented Guyana on the Youth Ambassadors Programme to the United States (U.S.) from September 4 to 20, has said it was, indeed, an honour to do so.
She said she is thankful to the U.S. State Department, Partners of America and the U.S. Embassy in Guyana for the
Ms. Rasheed said the three weeks stay in the U.S. allowed herself and other participants from the Caribbean to develop their leadership skills, strengthen their ability to serve their communities, interact with peers from other countries, learn about each other’s cultures, build mutual understanding between the U.S. and Guyana, as well as other nations in the Caribbean.
She reported that the first four days were spent in Washington D.C. with fellow youth ambassadors from Belize and Trinidad and Tobago and they conducted sessions based on leadership, project planning and implementation.
According to her, visits were also paid to the U.S. State Department, the Capitol, Howard University, museums and respective embassies.
Rasheed said, during the tour, a greater understanding and appreciation of U.S. history, values and beliefs were gained.
The Guyana contingent spent two weeks in the State of Wyoming with host families and toured the University of Wyoming, the Laranue County Community College, the Cathedral Home for Children and two days at the Laranue High School.
Rasheed said they also visited the ‘Big Brothers, Big Sisters’ Youth Centre which seeks to rehabilitate and guide delinquent youths of the community and provide a healthy ‘hangout spot’ for others.
Among their many other activities was attending the Youth Leadership Summit and visiting the Governor in Cheyenne.
Rasheed said, throughout the exchange venture, one thing that really caught her attention, particularly in Wyoming, was the will of the people to volunteer, the many volunteer groups comprising youths and organisations within the community and schools.
She said Partners of the Americas believes that youths are powerful agents of change and Guyana has great potential, thus it is her hope that the Guyanese ones become more involved in activities today, so that they can build a better tomorrow and one way in starting is by joining the President’s Youth Award: Republic of Guyana (PYARG) in the various Administrative Regions.
Rasheed acknowledged that the just concluded exchange has taught her much and she is willing and committed to work in various groups and local communities in order to create a positive impact on youths nationally.
She is also thankful to her host family in the U.S. and her school, the Anna Regina Multilateral on the Essequibo Coast and many other persons who helped to make her trip a great success.
As a youth ambassador of Essequibo, she was proud to represent Guyana, together with others, Rasheed said.
The Youth Ambassadors Programme is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs and the U.S. Embassies and Consulates, and is administered by Partners of the Americas.