Youth Leadership Development

Meridian has several years of experience in developing and implementing programs for high-school and college age youth. Youth programs can be organized on a variety of themes, including community engagement, action planning to develop youth-led projects, youth leadership, and conflict resolution and cross-cultural dialogue. Meridian has recruited, interviewed, and selected more than 150 youth program participants from Iraq in three years of implementing the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP) and nearly 50 students from Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, and Hungary in its first year of implementing the Youth Leadership Program with Central Europe (YLPCE). For this, Meridian also recruited American high school students to take part in a reciprocal exchange in Serbia and Hungary.

For the 14th consecutive year, Meridian has also implemented the U.S. Congress – Korean National Assembly Exchange Program, an innovative and engaging two-way exchange that offers the American and Korean participants an opportunity to promote cultural awareness and a first-hand perspective of each other’s country’s political and legislative system.

Meridian handles a wide range of both programmatic and logistical activities for youth programs. We collect all necessary release forms, including behavioral expectations agreements and media and medical release forms, arrange domestic and international travel logistics, develop and conduct pre-departure orientations for youth and their parents, and serve as points of contact for parents while their children are abroad. We can tap our extensive network of community contacts to arrange home stays with American families in more than 100 U.S. cities and in other countries through local partners. Host families are screened and vetted by Meridian.

Meridian staff also maintains relationships with youth participants following their exchange programs and are available to mentor them as they develop and implement youth-led plans for social change. We can also offer training for adults who work with youth and wish to build their capacity to influence young minds.