Taking the Lessons of Title IX Global—On the Court and In Life

Jessica Mendoza, U.S. Olympian and member of the State Department Council to Empower Women and Girls, leads clinics in Nicaragua as part of the State Department's global efforts to empower women and girls through sports, February 4, 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Ann Stock serves as Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs.

February 6 marks the 27th National Day of Women and Girls in Sports.

Today in Esteli, Nicaragua, girls from under-served areas are on the softball diamond, fielding grounders, running out base hits, and learning how sports can improve their health and their performance in the classroom.

In Donetsk, Ukraine, girls were on the basketball court, looking for the outlet pass, grabbing rebounds, and working as a team.

In Knoxville, Tennessee, 12 young, female basketball players from Senegal recently concluded a 10-day international exchange.… more »

It Starts With One: Alumni, Youth Empowerment, and a Vision for a Better Future

Regional Alumni Enrichment Workshop on Youth Empowerment and Citizen Security in Costa Rica [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Jeff Weinshenker serves as a Public Diplomacy Officer in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.

It all starts with one. One idea. One individual. One community. And one vision for a better future.

It starts with Juan Pablo in Bolivia teaching at-risk youth how to express themselves through sports and culture, developing their own identity so others won’t define it for them.

It starts with Martha in Costa Rica or Yelitza in Panama, who found ways to reach the “unreachable” — gang members, drug users, and school dropouts in whom others had given up hope.

Sometimes it begins with an idea — teaching robotics to 10-year-olds in a drug-ravaged community in Costa Rica. Piece by piece, with the support of dedicated adults, these boys and girls learn to construct something bigger — engines, cars, complex systems — and along the way, they rebuild themselves and their neighborhoods.

These moments of inspiration exist across… more »

Nicaraguan Dental Faculty Participate in U.S. Exchange Program
Nicaraguan Dental Faculty and U.S. Military Pose for a Photo on USNS COMFORT, June 2011. [State Dept

About the Author: Alison Griffith is the Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Managua, Nicaragua.

The port of San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua bustled with activity the morning of June 23, 2011. U.S. military personnel crossed the loading docks with great purpose, as a group of Nicaraguan dental faculty stepped from their vans into the throng of activity. Sixteen men and women representing the only two dental schools in Nicaragua looked eagerly onto the choppy waters upon which they were about to embark. The colossal white hospital ship, the U.S. Naval Ship (USNS) Comfort, emerged through the morning mist, and the bright red crosses emblazoned on its side beckoned to the visiting faculty.

The faculty members’ visit was a dental subject matter expert exchange (SMEE) the U.S. Embassy in Nicaragua coordinated with the Dental Department aboard the USNS Comfort. Timing their ascent with the rise and fall of the Pacific Ocean waves, the visitors boarded the ship… more »