Vienna to Host Kickoff for Generation Next Youth Leadership Initiative

VIENNA – The Generation Next Youth Leadership Initiative will provide 20 young Austrian university students, ranging in age from 19 to 28, the opportunity to examine the dynamic processes of integration while learning the principles of civic education, respect for diversity, and community engagement through intensive leadership training, highlighted by a three-week, four-city program this summer in the United States.

This U.S. Department of State-sponsored exchange initiative is funded through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Embassy in Vienna and administered by Cultural Vistas. The program will take place in three distinct phases, beginning this weekend with a daylong leadership and skill development training session on Saturday, March 11 in Vienna.

Following two-plus months of virtual learning activities, the 20-member cohort, comprised of students pursuing degrees at the bachelor, master, and doctoral levels, will have the opportunity to further hone their skills this July during a leadership training tour of the United States.

The tour will include site visits, shadowing, seminars, and service activities with organizations and institutions in four U.S. communities: Baltimore, Des Moines, San Diego, and Washington, D.C.  The itinerary has been designed to showcase the diversity of American culture and foster better understanding of community engagement, civic participation, and refugee integration as practiced in the United States.

Upon returning home, participants will apply what they have learned and begin implementing educational and service projects addressing issues of civic, economic, and linguistic integration and participation of immigrants and refugees in their universities and communities.

The 2017 program will culminate in November as all 20 participants reconvene in Vienna to share project outcomes and lessons learned.

2017 Generation Next Youth Leadership Initiative