Young Ambassadors for Community Service (YACS)

To favor the associative commitment of the young people in districts, this program is proposed by the French government (General Commission for Territories Equity – CGET and the French Embassy in USA) and the Embassy of the United States of America in France.

The French young people are native of 6 regions: Aquitaine, Ile-de-France, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Rhône-Alpes, Midi-Pyrénées.

The American young students are coming from from Greater Washington DC in United States of America.

The program “Young Ambassadors for Community Service ” selects around thirty French young people from priority districts to value the associative commitment and allow the realization of local projects, carried by the young people, in the service of the inhabitants of districts and general interest. It takes in account the objectives of the programs “Young Ambassadors” and “Ambassadors of the Associative Commitment “.

The program also selects about fifteen young American high school students from disadvantaged districts to value their opening in other cultures by allowing them in particular to discover France, its culture, its community and institutional scheme, as well as way of living.

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History of YACS program

The program Young Ambassadors exists since 2008 on the initiative of the Embassy of United States of America. CGET joined to it since 2009 to allow the participation of young people from districts of the urban priorities to concretize their commitment for the general interest. It is also the opportunity for the young high school students from modest family to show their talent, their motivation and their determination, to discover the culture and the history of the United States of America and to make known the culture and the history of France, by realizing functions of representation abroad.

In 2013, the experimental program “Community Service”, launched by the Embassy of the United States of America, allowed young people from districts of the urban political priorities in the associative environment as employees or volunteers to discover not only the culture and the history of the United States but also the functioning of the associations and the American commitment, while representing the French associations, thanks to institutional and professional meetings.

Since 2014, the reciprocity has been engaged with the involvement of American High School students that have the opportunity to come in France to discover French institutions, associations and educational structures. These national programs are based on a real institutional and associative dynamics between:

  • The General Commission for Territories Equity – CGET
  • The prefects delegated to the equality of opportunity,
  • The Embassy of the United States of America in France,
  • The consulates of the United States,
  • The Association for the development of the citizens and European initiatives (ADICE)

This institutional dynamic favors the respect for the principles of the popular education.

The objectives of the program

  • To act for the equality of opportunity by favoring the participation of the young people coming from priority districts and from modest areas;
  • To develop the potential of civic commitment and action in favor of the general interest of the participants;
  • To make discover to the participants the methods, logics and innovative systems of the associative sector, to inspire them for the realization of concrete actions after their return from the United States and France;
  • To encourage the sharing of the knowledge and the intercultural exchanges between the young French people and
    the young Americans;
  • To favor the international mobility of the young people through an experience of exchange in United States of
    America and in France;
  • To allow the participants to know better the culture, the history and the associations of United States of America and
    France, while being themselves ambassadors of the culture, the history and the French and American associations;
  • To ensure functions of representation of the French and American youth and its civic commitment abroad.

The beneficiaries of the program

24 high school students from French High Schools registered in a public high school of Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Ile-de-France, Aquitaine, Rhône-Alpes or Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and Midi Pyrénées (4 young people by region). They have to answer the following criteria:

  • The low family quotient,
  • The young person lives in priority district,
  • The young person never went to the United States,
  • The young person participates in an associative activity and/or a citizen (associative local commitment, representation citizen within an council of young people) or wants to develop associative actions
  • The young can speak and understand correctly the English language.

6 young people from 20 to 30 years old, involved in the associative sector of the 6 french regions (1 by region) and answering the following criteria:

  • To be in the service of the young people of the priority districts, as employee or volunteer of an association
    working in priority districts,
  • Never have Been in the United States of America,
  • To be fluent in English.

About 15 high school students (about 7 / 8 from each High School), registered in a public high school of greater Washington. They have to answer the following criteria:

  • To have a modest family income,
  • To live in a disadvantaged area,
  • To have never been in France,
  • To demonstrate a strong desire to discover other cultures,
  • To get a certain French language ability, and to be recommended by his(her) French teacher,
  • To have the will to develop an intercultural and public-spirited project.
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