Americans and young African leaders address global challenges together

Americans and young African leaders address global challenges together

 

Americans and young African leaders address global challenges

The U.S. Department of State and IREX are pleased to announce the more than 50 Americans selected to receive Reciprocal Exchange Awards as part of a new component of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.

The Reciprocal Exchange awards up to $5,000 to emerging and established U.S. leaders in many professional fields to help fund collaborative projects with 2016 Mandela Washington Fellows. Fellows originally met the U.S. leaders through site visits, networking, internships, and other parts of the six-week Academic and Leadership Institutes in the United States during the 2016 Fellowship. The awards allow the U.S. and African pairs to collaborate on important issues and deepen their partnerships, thereby contributing to mutual understanding between the United States and African countries.

Hands down, the biggest takeaway of this whole experience was forming a new understanding of the opportunities, challenges, and perspectives of Malawian youth.

Alexis Taylor, a 2014 Reciprocal Exchange awardee

"Hands down, the biggest takeaway of this whole experience was forming a new understanding of the opportunities, challenges, and perspectives of Malawian youth," said Alexis Taylor, a 2014 Reciprocal Exchange awardee. “This was my first trip to the continent of Africa. I was enlightened by local perspectives of the UN [Sustainable] Development Goals, the true challenges facing their nation, and [how] to overcome those challenges."

Through these competitive awards, more than 50 U.S. leaders will travel to 22 countries in sub-Saharan Africa for up to two weeks in 2017. The Reciprocal Exchange Awards will support diverse projects that address a wide array of global and local community challenges.  

American awardees include the following individuals from across the United States, traveling to the following destinations in sub-Saharan Africa: 

Benin

Brian MacHarg (North Carolina), civic engagement education 

Christopher Gresham (District of Columbia), entrepreneurship

Joshua Idassi (North Carolina), agriculture

Sylvia Davatz (Vermont), agriculture

Botswana

David Gordon (New York), disability advocacy

Latisha Bracy (Delaware), young women’s political leadership

Burkina Faso

Dan Shalmon (Illinois), youth empowerment 

Smita Patel (Georgia), agriculture

Cameroon 

Mallory Smith (New York), women’s health

Tara Swanholm (Arizona), women’s empowerment

Ethiopia 

Dimy Doresca (Iowa), agriculture

John Lumkes (Indiana), agriculture

Rudy Hightower (Ohio), mental healthcare

Ghana

Dennis Donovan (Iowa), agriculture

Guinea

James Michael Finnegan (Kansas), youth empowerment

Guinea-Bissau

David T. Croasdell (Nevada), entrepreneurship

Matt Westfield (Nevada), entrepreneurship

Kenya 

Betty Anderson (Virginia), health education

Brandon W. Kliewer (Kansas), disability advocacy 

Ebitimi (Timi) Komonibo (New York), women’s health

Jonathan Pottle (Maine), alternative energy

Patrick Johanns (Iowa), agriculture

Susan Gold (Wisconsin), health education

Theresa Thompson (Michigan), agriculture 

Liberia

Joseph Malual (Wisconsin), women's empowerment

Madagascar 

April Reed (Arizona), disability advocacy 

Scotty R. Dossett (Illinois), high efficiency cooking rocket stoves

Teena Curry (Maryland), financial management

Malawi 

Kathryn Kutzner (Pennsylvania), women's empowerment 

Maia Donohue (Texas), entrepreneurship  

Mauritius 

Alexander Lopez (New Hampshire), waste management 

Grady Hart (Virginia), alternative education

Mozambique 

Haley Kimmet (Minnesota), disability advocacy 

Niger

Brian MacHarg (North Carolina), civic engagement education

Nigeria

Ayomide Shittu (Texas), youth empowerment

Dustin Homan (Ohio), youth empowerment

Kesi Howard (Pennsylvania), women’s health

Megan Fisk (Arizona), civic engagement education

Sheila Huckins-Bucklew (Texas), women’s empowerment

Tanikka Mitchell (Illinois), technical training

South Africa

Liz Ogbu (California), civic engagement education

South Africa/Ghana

Chenits Pettigrew (New York), arts & education

Tanzania 

Estella Hunt (Nevada), technology training

Esther Gottlieb (Ohio), agriculture

Jason Mackenzie (Indiana), alternative education

Uganda

Carly Stingl (Wisconsin), agriculture

Zambia 

Bryan McGarvey (Indiana), agriculture

Ryan Dion Taylor (California), alternative energy

Zimbabwe 

Gina Haney (California), arts & cultural programming 

Sarah Olson (Arizona), sport for social change (youth with disabilities)

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). The Mandela Washington Fellowship brings young leaders to the United States for academic coursework and leadership training and creates unique opportunities in Africa for Fellows to put new skills to practical use in leading organizations, communities, and countries. Two thousand young leaders from every country in sub-Saharan Africa have participated in the Fellowship.

For more information, visit yali.state.gov/washington-fellowship. You can also get updates at Facebook.com/MandelaWashingtonFellowship and Twitter.com/WashFellowship.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is a program of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and is supported in its implementation by IREX.