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Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
December 2, 2008


U.S. State Department Teams with Corporate America to Fund Scholarship Programs Overseas

The U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce partnerships with Dole Food Company in the Philippines and PT Freeport Indonesia to expand our groundbreaking English Access Microscholarship Program, to fund scholarships for young people in these countries to study English starting in 2009.

Since its inception in 2004, the Access Program has provided scholarships for English language training to approximately 44,000 students in over 55 countries. Recognizing that English language skills are critical to economic opportunity and upward mobility, the Program targets disadvantaged teenagers from underserved communities, building their skills, self-esteem, and leadership. At the same time, multinational companies have identified a need for workforce development, including language training, in a competitive global marketplace. By joining forces with the private sector to fund Access, the State Department is encouraging a smart business investment in a proven program that positively impacts young people’s lives.

These public-private partnerships are the outcome of a newly launched initiative by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) to engage the private sector in collaborative projects – ones that further their philanthropic goals through focused investments in our educational, cultural and professional exchange programs. ECA’s mission is to foster mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries, and our programs often align closely with the corporate social responsibility goals of multinational companies and foundations.

This new initiative builds on recent past successes, including the Avon Foundation/State Department Breast Cancer Global Congress, and the Fortune/State Department Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership. We are also co-sponsoring with the Adobe Foundation an online web contest as part of our new social networking initiative. Other public/private partnerships have included our longstanding collaboration with U.S. universities that host and provide financial support to international Fulbright students and scholars, as well as the International Visitor Murrow program for journalists.

We are in discussions with other companies to partner on the Access Program and other successful ECA programs.

For information on ECA's public-private partnerships and its programs, including Access, contact Kate Starr at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, (202) 203-5108 and see http://www.exchanges.state.gov/englishteaching/eam.html

2008/1003


Released on December 2, 2008

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