Are you a former participant of the Phoenix Youth Ambassador Exchange Program? Then you are in the right place. Here you can learn about how you can stay involved with the program, reconnect with other alumni and participate in alumni functions. Below please read about what the YAEP Alumni Association has been up to and opportunities for you to get involved. Also, the possibilities are endless, if you have an idea for a new alumni activity, trip or endeavor speak up and we’ll try to make it happen.
ALUMNI VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: The mission for this weekend of community service is to have both students from Hermosillo and Phoenix work side by side to help those less fortunate in the Phoenix area. The students from Hermosillo will be paired with students from Phoenix and will join together on the weekend of April 19th to 21st to make a difference in the community. They will prepare brown bag lunches for the homeless in the Phoenix area.
ALUMNI HUMANITARIAN TRIPS: In the spring of 2012 the YAEP Alumni Association launched their first ever YAEP Alumni Humanitarian Trip. This was a weekend trip to Hermosillo where alumni worked in an orphanage and were home hosted by some Hermosillo teens. A second trip followed in the fall of 2012 where a relationship between the alumni group and the International Relations Club of UVM was finalized. UVM organized a day of service at Instituto de Kino and again hosted our alumni in their homes for the weekend. The group took a private shuttle to Hermosillo and back. In addition to working in the orphanage the alumni participated in a weekend cultural exchange touring and learning about the city. Future alumni humanitarian trips back to Hermosillo and other Sister Cities are in the planning phases.
ALUMNI WINTER HOLIDAY GATHERING: The holiday season is a wonderful time to bring alumni together to catch up. Annual gatherings are planned and alumni of all ages are welcome. Alumni reunite with old friends and make new ones. Winter Holiday gatherings come in all shapes and sizes. To name a few of the activities the group has done in the past include First Friday, pizza party at Pump it Up, bowling and appetizers at Lucky Strike, potlucks and holiday community service projects with the Salvation Army.
SUMMER ALUMNI HOSTED –YAEP DAY: YAEP Alumni are invited to be a part of the “All American” YAEP hosting calendar each July. A special alumni sponsored day of activities gives alumni and current program participants (both local and international) an opportunity to meet and mingle. A special invitation to all alumni is posted on the YAEP Alumni Facebook page each summer with details. This alumni sponsored day is mildly competitive as alumni and current participants compete in silly games to prove who is greater that year and either the alumni or current cohort earn the honor of the BEST cohort for that year.
BIG BUDDY MENTORING PROGRAM: The Big Buddy Mentoring Program pairs an active alumnus with a new or current program participant. The Big Buddy serves as a mentor in helping the current program participant successfully maneuver through the experience of being a Youth Ambassador. To serve as a Big buddy you must apply, be selected and willing to not only assist your little buddy but his/her family as well. Big Buddies must follow monthly curriculum as outlined in the YAEP Big Buddy manual to help prepare their Little Buddy for all phases of the YAEP including pre-departure, abroad experience, hosting, etc. Big Buddies are encouraged to attend local events including YAEP Announcement Party, Lock In, graduation and specified hosting calendar events.
A call for Big Buddy applications is made each winter and final selections are made an announced by February of each year. Big Buddy’s have special access to closed YAEP events such as the YAEP Lock In, Thanksgiving dinner and opportunities to join in summer trips to Disneyland and the Grand Canyon. A $25 fee is assessed to all Big Buddies. Fee helps to cover the cost of Big Buddy participation in special events.
YAEP ALUMNI COMMUNITY SERVICE PROJECTS: As YAEP Alumni it is important to continue to serve our community and those communities of our Sister Cities. Various volunteer opportunities are announced throughout the year. Majority of the volunteer work includes working with youth and sharing global experiences through stories and crafts. Additionally the alumni support the local city committees at functions i.e. the Ennis 5K, Pesos for Presents, Great Canadian Picnic and more.
YAEP ALUMNI VOLUNTEERING @ YAEP EVENTS: The success of YAEP is only as strong as its volunteers and the legacy set forth by our alumni and their families. Alumni are always encouraged to volunteer at YAEP events. Volunteers assist with every phase of the program from marketing to interviews, helping to plan events, facilitate workshops, assisting with the check in process and doing follow up. Volunteers are always appreciated. Please visit the YAEP mandatory calendar for dates of events and check the Facebook page for updates.
SPOTLIGHT ON YAEP ALUMNI & HOW YAEP HAS IMPACTED THEM TODAY:
YAEP is not just a summer experience, it is a summer of change and inspiration. Many of the YAEP Alumni have grown in to strong leaders in various fields. Your story can help inspire others – let’s hear how YAEP has impacted you.
JOIN THE ALUMNI NETWORK: Are you a part of the YAEP Alumni network? Have you updated your information? Please complete your online submission below. In addition please join the Phoenix Sister Cities YAEP Alumni group on Facebook.