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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2003 > February
Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
February 14, 2003

Belarusian Educational Professionals Learning in Roanoke: Community Connections in the Schools - February 16

Ten secondary school administrators from Minsk, Belarus will arrive in Roanoke, Virginia on February 16, 2003 to spend three weeks working in the area and living with local American families. These school administrators are participants in the Community Connections program of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The program provides three-to-five week home stay-based practical training opportunities in the United States for entrepreneurs, educational professionals, local government officials, legal professionals, non-governmental organization leaders, and other professionals from ten Eurasian countries.

“The Community Connections program is providing more than 1500 participants this year with professional enhancement opportunities in the United States,” said Patricia S. Harrison, Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs. “The program creates direct linkages between communities in the U.S. and emerging professional sectors abroad and provides an important long-term service to international stability.”

Since 1994, more than 10,000 people from Eurasia have participated in the program. U.S. community host organizations arrange internships for the participants - based on interests and experience - at companies ranging from small, family-run enterprises to major, multi-national "Fortune 500" corporations.

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs awarded a grant to Legacy International to host the Belarus group. Grants are awarded to community-based, non-profit 501 (c)(3) organizations.

The FREEDOM [Freedom for Russian and Eurasian Emerging Democracies and Open Markets] Support Act of 1992 provides funding for Community Connections. Participants are recruited by U.S. non-profit organizations within Eurasian countries through an open merit-based competition. Candidates must compete in a three-state selection process, including completion of an application, interviews, and selection by the local U.S. host community. For more information, visit the Community Connections Web page at http://exchanges.state.gov/education/citizens/comcon.

Marlene Ginsberg
Legacy International
tel. (540) 297-5982 or email marlene@legacyintl.org

Nicole Deaner
U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
tel. (202) 203-7613 or e-mail ndeaner@pd.state.gov

Released on February 14, 2003

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