Twenty Montana participants -- approximately 10-12 professionals and 8-10 students -- will be selected to travel to El Salvador from July 15-23, 2018, to participate in a basketball exchange with Salvadoran youth and adults. All expenses are paid for by the U.S. Department of State via a grant to the Mansfield Center.  This eight-day exchange will use basketball as a medium to engage at-risk youth and adult sports mentors.  The focus of activities will be on leadership and teamwork in order to build resilience and life skills. This exchange is part of a larger effort to encourage at-risk youth to stay in school and build pathways to economic security.

Montana participants will then host 22 youth and adult participants from Central America (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras) in April 2019. Montana participants will be expected to lead particular sessions and activities focused on basketball and youth development during this 13-day exchange.

Student Selection Criteria:

  • U.S. citizen
  • Montana resident
  • Age: at least 15 years old by the beginning of the exchange (July 15, 2018)
  • Active student status (enrolled in high school, home school, or higher education institution for the 2018-2019 school year)
  • Demonstrated interest and skills in basketball
  • Demonstrated interest in international affairs
  • Demonstrated leadership and teamwork skills
  • Demonstrated maturity, flexibility, integrity, social skills, and open-mindedness
  • Motivation to be a successful cultural exchange participant

Applications are due April 15, 2018.