CCI Greenheart’s Work Programs include two prominent departments that allow young adults to experience life in the United States through participation in work-based programs under the Department of State’s J-1 visa categories. These programs and the cultural immersion opportunities they create are integral to the success of diplomacy efforts between the United States and our global friends.
Both departments — Work and Travel and Career Advancement Program — experienced growth in 2016 through enrollments, streamlining of processes, and frequency of participant engagement, ultimately resulting in more culturally-focused exchange experiences for our participants.
Work and Travel, with the aim of “bringing the world to your workplace”, offers entry-level placements during students’ main breaks from university, and engages more participants than any other J-1 visa category, both within Greenheart and nationally. Highlights of 2016 include our 11th annual Work and Travel stakeholder conference in October and the launch of a more refined advocacy strategy.
Nathan Apiri, a Nigerian Work and Travel participant placed in Custer, South Dakota, went on to attend both the Greenheart Global Leaders Conference and the Our Ocean conference in Washington, D.C. While there, Nathan had the opportunity to speak with representatives from the U.S. Department of State and global leaders in marine conservation, strengthening his dedication to environmentalism. Upon returning to Romania, where Nathan is currently living and studying, he applied for a Greenheart Service Grant and used his award to teach elementary school students how to care for the earth by supplying gardens for their classrooms.
The mission of the Career Advancement Program is to “connect, motivate, lead”, offering two J-1 visa categories — Trainee and Intern, which includes the U.S.-Mexico Intern Program designation. We are very proud of the cohesive and enthusiastic team we have built under new leadership. In 2017, we are excited to launch a full program option, in which we locate internships for our participants, specifically those of the U.S.-Mexico Intern Program.
We look forward to the opportunity for collaboration with other organizations in our industry, from shared cultural outreach events to collective advocacy efforts, and will continue to streamline processes in attempts to spend more time doing what we really love: creating cultural experiences for our participants.
Vice President, International Exchange