Youth Programming

Youth development has been a key element of CIED programming since our founding in 1981. Our leadership development, English language, and intercultural immersion programs for youth have made a significant impact in the lives of young people from the Caribbean and Central America to the Middle East and Africa. Federally funded youth programs administered and implemented by CIED share a common goal: preparing global citizens to lead, serve, and change the world.

We gained international recognition for our role in designing and implementing all aspects of the CASS/SEED program. Through that program, begun in 1985, we refined and perfected a model for training and educating talented youth leaders from rural and remote areas of the world. In the 30 years since the start of CASS/SEED, we have applied that model in every area of the world.

CIED’s youth programming work continues with the MEPI Student Leaders and the Youth Ambassadors programs characterized by a focus on the individual student. Direct, personal interaction between program administrators and participants is essential to ensuring the highest quality experience, and this is especially true in working with youth. Our dedicated, professional staff is deeply invested in the success of each participant and support every individual at each stage of the program experience.

Related Programs


Youth Ambassadors

Youth Ambassadors is a cultural exchange program designed to strengthen the leadership skills of young people from the Caribbean, Latin America, and the United States. It builds bonds of friendship and understanding between people of the Americas and is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.

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Student Leaders Program

The MEPI Student Leaders Program is a U.S. Department of State sponsored leadership program for undergraduate student leaders from the Middle East and North Africa. The CIED-designed curriculum allows students to develop leadership skills and expand their understanding of civil society and democratic leadership.

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Sports Diplomacy

CIED’s Sports Diplomacy programs are international people-to-people exchanges that build mutual understanding and cooperation through sports. Programs bring together those interested in sports, recreation, and leadership to promote tolerance, cooperation, and life skills using the platform of sports teamwork.


SEED Program

The SEED Program was a USAID sponsored exchange initiative that provides U.S.-based technical training to youth and community leaders. The program creates productive and mutually beneficial academic, economic, and social relationships that benefit people of the United States and the Latin American/Caribbean region.