International Focus, Inc. recently hosted a student delegation of 15 teenagers ages 15-17 from Mexico to the Triangle area for a Youth Leadership Conference about substance abuse prevention from Monday, July 21st through Saturday August 2nd, 2014. This conference was under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State in conjunction with the Ministry of Education of Mexico, World Learning, and International Focus, Inc.
The objective of this program was to promote a mutual understanding between the people of the USA and Mexico by promoting interaction with peers and families, service learning activities, and the creation of a service project to implement upon returning to Mexico. They also had the opportunity to participate in cultural outings, social gatherings and recreational activities.
During the students' stay, there were many opportunities for local organization and business involvement in their lesson plans. For example the students had the opportunity to learn and engage locally by visiting The Consulate General of Mexico, North Carolina State University, The Alcohol and Drug Council of North Carolina, SouthLight (a local nonprofit with substance abuse rehabilitation) and many more. All of these locations gave the youth the opportunity to learn something new, and to gain unique perspectives. While the students had a full schedule of informational meetings, they also found time for cultural activities during their stay. Some of the activities they participated in were, watching an outdoor movie at the NC Museum of Art, attending a Durham Bulls baseball game, and even volunteering at the Healing Place of Wake County. It was an opportunity for the youth to not only learn from the local community, but engage and give back to it.