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The Smithsonian Latino Center kicked off its ninth annual Young Ambassadors Program June 23 with the arrival of 22 graduating high school seniors from throughout the country to Washington, D.C. This flagship program has served more than 150 students since its launch in 2006.
The Young Ambassadors Program is an interdisciplinary leadership program that fosters the next generation of Latino leaders in the arts, sciences and humanities. The program strives to empower young Latinos to become community leaders and life-long learners. Students are offered seminars and skill-building workshops by Latino scholars and leaders in the fields of art, culture and science and visit Smithsonian museums and area cultural centers. At the conclusion of the week in Washington, students return to their communities to participate in a four-week paid internship at a museum or cultural center. Part of the each internship requires students to work with a local library on a literacy building project. Upon completion of the internships, students receive a $2,000 stipend to apply toward college.
Participants to the program have demonstrated high academic achievement as well as civic responsibility and community service. This year the program will feature a variety of experts, which include filmmakers, journalists, curators, artists, scientists, musicians, poets, astronauts and CEOs.
The Young Ambassadors Program receives support from the Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services and partners with the following organizations throughout the country:
- Arizona Science Center
- Musical Instrument Museum (Ariz.)
- Museum of Latin American Art (Calif.)
- Chabot Space and Science Center (Calif.)
- California Science Center
- National Museum of the American Indian (D.C.)
- Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts (Fla.)
- Patricia and Philip Frost Museum of Science (Fla.)
- National Museum of Mexican Art (Ill.)
- Adler Planetarium (Ill.)
- National Hispanic Cultural Center (N.M.)
- Explora (N.M.)
- Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian—New York
- Philadelphia Museum of Art
- Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico
- The Thinkery (Texas)
- San Antonio Museum of Art
- International Museum of Art and Science (Texas)
- Fort Worth Museum of Science and History (Texas)
- Talento Bilingüe de Houston
- Children’s Museum of Houston (Texas)
- The Museum of Flight (Wash.)
“We are proud to be actively involved in the success of the Young Ambassadors Program and to stand alongside SLC for the past seven years and witness the impact of this program in the lives of so many students,” said Joedis Avila, community outreach manager, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. “Education is a top priority to Ford Motor Company Fund because we believe it’s critical in building a better world.”
The Smithsonian Latino Center is a division of the Smithsonian that ensures Latino contributions to art, science and the humanities are highlighted, understood and advanced through the development and support of public programs, scholarly research, museum collections and educational opportunities at the Smithsonian and its affiliated organization across the U.S. and internationally. For information on the Young Ambassadors Program, visit www.latino.si.edu.
Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services works with community partners to advance driving safety, education and community life. Ford Motor Company Fund has operated for more than 60 years with ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company. Innovation in education is encouraged through national programs that enhance high school learning and provide college scholarships and university grants.
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