Assistance from the US State Department through the US Embassy is nothing new to Belize as they have been engaged in several programs geared at promoting the enhancements in education, culture and technical cooperation. One such program is the Humphrey Fellowship Award which is currently open for applications as explained by the US Ambassador, Carlos Moreno.
“The Humphrey Fellowship is a program offered by the US State Department to offer mid level professionals an opportunity to participate in a non certificate, non degree program for ten months in the United States. In the past we’ve had Belizeans attended an American University in Washington DC on a program focusing on trafficking in persons. Currently we have someone who is participating in a program out of Penn State in Pennsylvania in Agriculture Techniques and education and so forth. So the application deadline is in mid August; August 16th, I believe. It’s a great opportunity for a mid level professional Belizean who has a Bachelor of Arts degree to basically stay fully funded for 10 months. A wonderful education program at one of the many US universities and the programs that are offered vary and also the locations vary and I believe the participants have an opportunity also to visit different sites in the US like Washington DC and others that are related to their studies. In addition for part of the time they are there they also engage with a quasi private entity; I believe Ann Marie Williams when she was attending American University was assigned to the World Bank where she also got to learn many things about what they do in conjunction also with her studies in trafficking of persons. The students come from all over the world so it’s another opportunity for participants really to network and make friends with other mid level professionals from different countries that hopefully in the future they can continue to engage with these individuals who we expect will be the future leaders of their respective countries.”
Executive Director for the National Women’s Commission, Ann Marie Williams and Educator, Gaspari Cordova are the first two recipients of the Humphrey Fellowship Award with Cordova recently returning home. There are other programs offered by the State Department via the US Embassy which the Ambassador also spoke about.
“Education USA is housed at the National Library in Belize City and it offers basically a place for students after school to use the computer services that are available there and the education manuals and so forth to learn more about study opportunities in the United States. It’s one way to really engage young students about opportunities that might be available for them in the United States. I was very pleased recently to meet a Belizean student who was admitted to Harvard University, a fantastic young man he’ll be studying at Harvard I really think that he has a lot to contribute to the life of that University. I also encourage him to come back to Belize and really to implement all of his studies and learning when he does come back to Belize but it’s a very talented individual I’m sure there are many more just like him. We also have the International Visitors Leadership Program; I believe Renee Trujillo attended one on journalism. Also there are multiple disciplines involved there and that is a three week program where the participants get to really travel to various sites in the United States related to their studies and typically Belize gets about four of those every year, we are always looking for outstanding candidates to fill those spots.”
Information on the available programs can be obtained by visiting the website, www.belize.usembassy.gov