Alumni coordinators at the Consulate General in Rio de Janeiro and at U.S. Embassy Brasilia joined forces to organize a two-day intensive, hands-on workshop for 12 participants from Rio de Janeiro, Bahia and Minas Gerais) on July 9 and 10, 2015 – “Alumnus to Advocate”.
The participants’ profiles included strong leadership potential and commitment to community service, with the objective of identifying alumni that could establish local state chapters for the US-Brazil Exchange Alumni (USBEA) community. Among the selected participants were alumni from Youth Ambassadors, the International Visitor Leadership Program, Community Journalism Exchange and many other U.S. Department of State programs.
The idea for this training came in 2014, when many alumni offered to serve as advocates for strengthening the U.S.-Brazil relationship through a nation-wide event, the first USBEA Day, held on August 30, 2014.
The “Alumnus to Advocate” workshop provided participants with a skillset to help effectively explain U.S. policies and promote the goals of the U.S. Mission in Brazil, that strengthen the relationship between the two countries, many of which are established through community and social projects. On the first day, the participants learned ways to organize their local USBEA chapters and develop an action plan. On the second day, a professional media coach spoke to the group on how to collaborate with journalists, craft an effective message, and give a focused interview. The participants, now back home in their communities, are committed to train other Alumni affiliated with USBEA and work to help them organize projects and activities in their respective cities. The next event will be the “2015 Alumni Day” which will take place simultaneously in various Brazilian cities and have a focus on volunteerism while celebrating the Brazilian National Volunteer Day.
U.S. Consulate Rio has over 1,500 alumni from various U.S. State Department-funded Exchange programs in Rio de Janeiro, Espirito Santo, Bahia, and Minas Gerais.
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