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The Smithsonian Latino Center has selected 19 graduating seniors from throughout the country and Puerto Rico to participate in the Young Ambassadors Program, June 19 through July 29. This interdisciplinary, leadership development program fosters the next generation of Latino leaders in the arts, sciences and humanities. Students spend a week in Washington attending seminars and skill-building workshops and participating in site visits to Smithsonian and area museums and cultural sites. Each student then spends the next four weeks interning at a museum or cultural center in a local community.
This summer program encourages youth to explore and understand the Latino experience through visits to the Smithsonian’s Latino collections and through personal interactions with Smithsonian experts, artists, journalists, scientists and other museum professionals. Special presenters include artist Margarita Cabrera, filmmaker Alberto Ferreras, engineer and former U.S. astronaut José Hernández and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Mirta Ojito. The internship provides a hands-on opportunity to gain practical skills in promoting Latino culture and heritage at the local level. Participants represent 10 states and Puerto Rico and include aspiring anthropologists, artists, biologists, civic and community leaders, diplomats, designers, economists and engineers. In addition to their academic achievements, these students have demonstrated civic responsibility and community service. The Young Ambassadors Program is made possible through the generous support of the Ford Motor Co. Fund and Community Services, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Co.
“Ford Motor Co. Fund has proudly supported this program for the past four years,” said Jim Vella, president of Ford Motor Co. Fund and Community Services. “Education is a top priority at Ford, and we are thrilled to partner on a project that has positively impacted Latino youth across the country.”
“The Smithsonian Institution is dedicated to providing rich experiences that guide and inspire young people,” said Eduardo Díaz, director of the Smithsonian Latino Center. “The Young Ambassadors Program is a great example of a public–private partnership that effectively meets this goal.”
The following organizations will host interns for this year’s Young Ambassadors Program: Museum of Latin American Art (Calif.), California Science Center, Chabot Space and Science Center (Calif.), Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts (Fla.), Miami Science Museum, National Museum of Mexican Art (Ill.), Adler Planetarium (Ill.), National Hispanic Cultural Center (NM), Scottsdale Public Art (Ariz.), National Museum of the American Indian—George Gustav Heye Center (NY), Philadelphia Museum of Art, Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, Austin Children’s Museum (Texas), San Antonio Museum of Art, International Museum of Art and Science (Texas), Talento Bilingue de Houston, National Museum of the American Indian (DC) and The Museum of Flight (Wash.).
The Smithsonian Latino Center is a division of the Smithsonian Institution 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 organizations across the United States and internationally. For information about the Young Ambassadors Program visit www.latino.si.edu.
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