The Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program, or IYLEP, is sponsored and funded by the U.S. Department of State through the U.S. embassy in Baghdad and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. 45 English-speaking Iraqi high school students and 5 adult mentors selected by a competitive application and interview process will spend a month in the United States looking at youth leadership, civic activism, community service and volunteerism and peacebuilding. They will visit: Washington, DC; a summer camp with American teenagers in rural Virginia; and Salt Lake City, where they will live with American host families.
The Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy (UCCD) is the local administrator of the Salt Lake City portion of the program and partnered with World Learning to provide this enriching opportunity to the Salt Lake community. UCCD and Salt Lake City hosted 13 Iraqi high school students and 1 adult mentor from August 2-16, 2016. In addition to staying with American host families, IYLEP students focused on the theme “Peacebuilding through Sports and the Arts” through experiential learning activities, site visits, leadership training, volunteer service, a practical learning project and a community presentation event.