City Year, a national organization that unites young people for a year of service in high-need urban schools, will host a delegation of eight civic and youth leaders from Bosnia and Herzegovina tomorrow in Washington, DC, where delegation members will explore the role that citizen service can play in uniting people of different backgrounds to address community problems, build a civil society, and develop a new generation of leaders. Through a series of meetings, program visits, and strategy sessions, the delegation will learn about a variety of program models in the United States and will meet with thought leaders from government, philanthropy, and NGOs to work together to identify models that could be adapted for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
"This is a great opportunity for youth and civic leaders from Bosnia and Herzegovina to come to Washington, DC and learn about service programs and initiatives here,� said Denis Prcic, President of the American University in Bosnia and Herzegovina. �Members of our delegation come from different ethnic groups and backgrounds which is very important for ethnically mixed country such as Bosnia and Herzegovina. The group will be able to take home these new skills and implement them in their own communities where, we have to admit, there is lots of room for improvements in civic, youth and citizen services. We applaud City Year for this initiative and were very proud to be their partners in this project."
The three day visit kicks off tomorrow, where they will spend time with City Year officials, who will present the experience that organization has had since 1988 uniting diverse teams of young people in service for a greater cause. The delegation will also visit a City Year school in Washington, DC, where corps members work with students to boost attendance, improve behavior, and increase course performance.
"We have already learned a tremendous amount from our delegates about the progress that has been made and the challenges that remain for Bosnia fifteen years out from the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords,� said AnnMaura Connolly, Chief Strategy Officer and Executive Vice President of City Year, Inc. Connolly also serves as President of Voices for National Service, a diverse coalition of national service programs, state commissions, and individual champions committed to expanding opportunities for Americans of all ages to serve and volunteer. �We are honored to share our experience with the delegation and support their effort to create new ideas and initiatives to bring together the diverse peoples of Bosnia work together to strengthen their county.�
Delegation members will also visit Playworks, a national nonprofit organization and AmeriCorps program that supports learning by providing safe, healthy and inclusive play and physical activity to schools at recess and throughout the entire school day. In addition, the delegation will meet with YouthBuild USA. There are now 273 YouthBuild programs in 45 states, Washington, DC, and the Virgin Islands. 92,000 YouthBuild students have built 19,000 units of affordable, increasingly green, housing since 1994.
City Year will also host a small reception welcoming the delegation on Tuesday evening at the W Hotel in Washington DC. In attendance will be variety leaders from the government, national service and international development fields.
During its 22 year history, City Year has brought together emerging leaders from outside the US to inspire the development of citizen service programs around the world. City Year also has established programs in South Africa and London, respectively. As part of the 2011 commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative, City Year will introduce this group of Bosnian leaders to a variety of national service programs that are effectively bridging divides and bringing people together around common causes.
American University in Bosnia and Herzegovina (AUBiH) is a multi-ethnic, career-oriented university and it is the only one to act on the entire territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Classes at the AUBiH are based on the American liberal education with undergraduate, graduate and doctoral studies, which are in line with the Bologna principles. AUBiH was established in partnership with the State University of New York Canton (SUNY) and it offers specialized programs located in Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Mostar and Tuzla.
About City Year: City Year is an education-focused, nonprofit organization founded in 1988 that partners with public schools to provide full-time targeted intervention for students most at risk of dropping out. In more than 20 communities across the United States and through two international affiliates, our teams of young AmeriCorps leaders support students by focusing on attendance, behavior, and course performance through in-class tutoring, mentoring, and after school programs that keep kids in school and on track to graduate.