The Stevens Initiative of the Aspen Institute in collaboration with the Government of Morocco and others awarded Enactus Morocco and Enactus US a second grant to support virtual exchange and global education opportunities for youth.
“This generous collaboration expands the Enactus experiential learning platform to highlight the value of cross-cultural exchange while continuing our work to expand economic inclusion while nurturing the next generation of leaders,” said Enactus President and CEO Rachael Jarosh. “As we emerge from the pandemic, this type of collaboration is more critical than ever, especially among young leaders who will define how local economies revive.”
During the 2021-2022 program, more than 830 Enactus students — half from Morocco and half from the US — will participate.
Enactus US President Steve Kappler said: “This Entrepreneurial Exchange is a unique opportunity for U.S. students to reach beyond our borders to learn from peers while becoming truly global citizens.”
Enactus Morocco CEO Maha Ech-Chefaa said: “We look forward to building on the success of the 2020 exchange between Enactus Morocco and US, which engaged 100 youth who not only advanced their entrepreneurship skills but together created 10 innovative start-ups.”
Participants gain entrepreneurship fundamentals through an online and virtual course. Students also participate in virtual exchange teams that are cross country, cross college and cross gender to create entrepreneurial projects addressing one of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The project pitches are judged by a panel of business and other leaders.
Around the world, schools and institutions are using virtual exchange to help young people develop cross-cultural relationships and vital skills. While traditional in-person education and exchange programs have been cancelled for the summer, virtual exchange continues to be a sustainable and accessible global learning tool.
The Stevens Initiative is an international effort to build global competence and career readiness skills for young people in the United States, the Middle East and North Africa by growing and enhancing the field of virtual exchange. Created in 2015 as a lasting tribute to Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, the Initiative is committed to helping to expand the virtual exchange field through three pillars of work: investing in promising programs, sharing knowledge and resources, and advocating for virtual exchange adoption.
“The Stevens Initiative is steadfast in its commitment to supporting virtual exchange programs that engage young people in collaborative learning and dialogue experiences. In a matter of months, we’ve been reminded again and again of our interdependence, the need for connection, and the importance of preparing the leaders of tomorrow to be globally competent.” said Mohamed Abdel-Kader, Executive Director, the Stevens Initiative at the Aspen Institute.
The Stevens Initiative is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, with funding provided by the U.S. Government, and is administered by the Aspen Institute. It is also supported by the Bezos Family Foundation and the governments of Morocco and the United Arab Emirates.
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) builds relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through academic, cultural, sports, professional and private exchanges, as well as public-private partnerships and mentoring programs. These exchange programs improve foreign relations and strengthen the national security of the United States, support U.S. international leadership, and provide a broad range of domestic benefits by helping break down barriers that often divide us. Visit eca.state.gov.
The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.
The Bezos Family Foundation supports rigorous, inspired learning environments for young people, from birth through high school, to put their education into action. Through investments in research, public awareness, systems building and programs, the foundation works to elevate the field of education and improve life outcomes for all children.
The Kingdom of Morocco has held a longstanding commitment to the promotion of peace, mutual understanding and respect across all fora. In line with this commitment, the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco is a strong supporter of the Stevens Initiative and is proud to be included in its programs, which foster opportunities for cross-cultural exchanges between youth.
The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Washington, D.C. is committed to promoting and increasing cross-cultural understanding and educational exchanges. In line with the UAE Government’s values, the Embassy supports educational programming at schools and universities across the U.S. The Embassy works with U.S. institutions to provide unique opportunities for peer-to-peer exchanges and help broaden student’s horizons.