Our first-ever Tech Camp taught at-risk youths to take hold of their futures by turning their smart phones into tools for economic opportunity. Alumni of DOS exchange programs including the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) played significant roles in the three-day program, titled App Start.
Participants, recruited from communities most vulnerable to recruitment by extremist groups and criminal gangs, found the tech camp inspiring and relevant—and look forward to further engagement with the Embassy. The public-private partnership of Post, YLAI alumni, the private sector, and the local community college provides a scalable model for using tech camps to help steer local youth toward entrepreneurship and away from crime and violence.
Chargé John McIntyre spoke at the closing ceremony, where he told participants, “your future is literally in your hands.”