Scholarship for Education and Economic Development

The SEED Program was a USAID-sponsored exchange initiative that provided U.S.-based technical training to youth and community leaders enabling them to become important players in key development sectors of their home countries. Moreover, the program created productive and mutually beneficial academic, economic, and social relationships that benefited people of the United States and the Latin American/Caribbean region.

Program Details

The SEED Program offered custom designed technical training and educational opportunities to youth and community leaders from economically disadvantaged and historically underserved populations, including women, people with disabilities, and members of ethnic/indigenous groups. The CIED scholarship model incorporates skills training, leadership development, and English as a Second Language (ESL) supporting fundamental development sectors such as agriculture, education, and the environment.

Upon completion of their scholarships in the United States, participants returned home to apply their newly acquired skills. CIED provided job assistance and professional development support. The countries that participated in the program were the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua. CIED administered this initiative from 1985 – 2015. In September, 2015, the program officially came to a close.

Case Studies

Mario Garcia

Mario is a prime example of the impact that an investment in a single person can have on a community. After completing the SEED program and returning to his home country, Mario has made a dramatic impact on his school and his community. His school has become an example of success in the region.

“I soaked up all the experiences in the SEED program, especially my monthly meetings with my college advisor. The program prepared for my professional career here in El Salvador.”

-Daniel Portillo

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The Sower, CASS/SEED Alum protagonist of award-winning documentary

Bartolomé Vázquez is a teacher in a one-room school of indigenous education in the mountains of Chiapas, Mexico, and he knows that pedagogy is not based solely on textbooks and cannot fit behind the four walls of a classroom. A true sower of knowledge, Bartolomé untangles his philosophy and educational method and becomes a beacon of hope for the creation of a humanistic model based on curiosity and love for the outside world.