PH International

Youth LAB - Leadership Across Borders

Country: USA
Category: Community Development Programs


Youth LAB: Turkey-Armenia-U.S. was a program to foster innovative leadership and forge cross-cultural connections among Turkish, Armenian and American youth. Youth LAB was funded by a grant from the Public Affairs Section of the United States Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, and was implemented by PH International and its Turkish partner, ARI Movement. The objective of the Turkish-Armenian-American Youth Leadership Project was to nurture a cadre of youth to become actively engaged in addressing issues of mutual concern to Turks, Armenians and Americans in their schools and communities, and to equip them with the knowledge, skills and confidence to become citizen activists.

The 16-month initiative brought together 75 young leaders – 25 from each country – with creative ideas and open minds. Prior to a three-week leadership camp in the U.S., students from the three countries communicated online via a secure website and begin talking with one another about leadership and change in their communities. In July 2011 students came together in Vermont for a two-week leadership camp at Sugarbush Resort followed by a one-week homestay experience. International teams of students designed and planned civic activities that they would work on in their communities upon their return home, and were to spend the next four months implementing these projects and continuing to communicate with their peers and program coordinators as they put learning into action. In late December 2011, all students got together again and spent ten days in Turkey and Armenia visiting each other’s projects, communities, and expanding their cultural and leadership training.