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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 > June
Media Note (Revised)
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
June 27, 2003


Celebrating Youth and the U.S.-U.K. Friendship

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw once again are turning their attention to the future and well being of youth by hosting the third annual Powell-Straw Youth Exchange. The exchange highlights young Americans and Britons who have overcome significant obstacles. Foreign Secretary Straw will host two American teens from July 5-12, and Secretary Powell will host two young Britons from July 18-26. Both exchanges will culminate in the opportunity for the visitors to spend a day personally "job shadowing" Foreign Secretary Straw, and Secretary Powell respectively.

The State Department worked with America's Promise, a nonprofit youth development organization originally led by Secretary Powell, to select the two U.S. students. Nominations were received from across the country through its network of affiliated communities, and two remarkable American teenagers, Nichole Anderson, 17, of Fort Hood, Texas and Huy Ngo, 16, of Charlotte, North Carolina were chosen. Both have overcome incredible hardships in their young lives and today give back to their communities through volunteer service.

Despite family turmoil, peer pressures and other challenges, Nichole Anderson is an honor student, star athlete, teacher and coach to younger children. She faced additional difficulties when her single mother, one of the Army's few female African-American Sergeants-Major, was deployed to serve in Iraq. Huy Ngo, born in Vietnam, has made the most of the opportunities afforded by his adoptive homeland. Despite severe poverty and the break-up of his family, Ngo is ranked first in his class, leads several school and civic youth groups and is active in community service.

Aside from the opportunity to "job shadow" Foreign Secretary Straw, Nichole and Huy will be introduced to British government and culture through visits to, among other places, Parliament, No.10 Downing Street and the Tower of London. The pair are also slated to see a Shakespearean play, attend a soccer match, visit Harrods and enjoy a traditional meal of fish-and-chips.

The British Foreign & Commonwealth Office worked with RPS Rainer, a leading British Non-Governmental Organization, to select the two British students. Lara Macardle, 17, of London, England and Danielle Roberts, 17, of Essex, England, have also overcome significant challenges and today serve as role models and youth leaders. The International Visitor Program of the Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs is coordinating a one-week visit for the British youths in the United States around the “shadowing” day with Secretary Powell.

Released on June 27, 2003

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