Embassy and American Councils Hold Virtual Mentoring for Young Participants of U.S. Exchange Programs

On Thursday, May 7, the U.S. Embassy Warsaw and the Polish office of the American Councils for International Education virtually launched a mentoring workshop for 16 young participants of U.S. government-sponsored educational exchange and civic education programs that will run from May to October, 2020.  Called the FLEX Alumni Mentoring Program, after the U.S. Department of State-sponsored Future Leaders Exchange Program that annually sends 43 Polish teenagers to the United States for one year of high school studies, this local program offers competitively selected Polish youth a unique opportunity for professional and leadership development with experienced, altruistic mentors.  The youth who participate are alumni of the FLEX program in America or the Embassy’s own Civic UP! program that hosts 25 Polish teenagers for a weeklong civic education academy in Warsaw every June.   The mentors are professionals in various fields who themselves are alumni of past U.S. government exchange programs — such as Fulbright, the Department of State’s International Visitors Leadership (IVLP) program, or others . The young mentees will work over the next months with their mentors to develop their leadership and project management skills.  In specific, the program guides mentees through the planning of their own community project, and chosen project ideas are eligible for funding for implementation.  These will be joint projects focused around social issues that are important to the young alumni in their local communities, and will be carried out in the fall of 2020.  During the program, mentees also work together with mentors to reflect and share where they are in life and where they want to go next, including their university and future career path.  While doing all of this, the mentors offer their mentees encouragement, curiosity and life lessons of their own.  Normally held in person, this year the Embassy and American Councils have adapted the mentoring to be held online in light of the COVID pandemic.   The Embassy would like to take this opportunity to commend the American Councils in Poland for their strong support of FLEX and the FLEX Alumni Mentoring Program.