Barbadian special education teacher to participate in U.S. government-sponsored leadership program

A Barbadian special education teacher is traveling to the United States to participate in the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). Shantel Lynch, a graduate teacher employed by the Barbados Ministry of Education, and will take part in a three-week project on “Education and Activism for Young Women” which concludes February 17.

This project will seek to engage current leaders in enlarging young women’s sphere of possibility, self-confidence, and visions for change, as well as exploring ways to give them the tools and professional networks they need to launch their ideas into the world. Participants will interact with public, private, academic, religious, and grassroots organizations to learn about best practices in responsible citizen activism and leadership for women.

Shantel Lynch, a graduate teacher for special education in Barbados (left), poses with U.S. Embassy Bridgetown’s Deputy Chief of Mission, Laura Griesmer before departing on the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program.

The program will also examine ways to cultivate leadership in young women and encourage them to take action to improve communities through developing skills such as critical thinking, overcoming internalized stereotypes, identifying and challenging inequality, public speaking, managerial skills, and team building. It will emphasize the importance of girls’ and women’s leadership through entry into nontraditional fields and careers, and through civic participation and volunteerism. The program will also expose participants to new ways of effectively designing curricula and utilizing differentiated instruction that address special needs children.

The program started late January in Washington, D.C., and includes travel to at least four cities across the United States, including Louisville, Kentucky; Seattle, Washington; Pensacola, Florida; and San Antonio, Texas.

The IVLP is the Department of State’s premier, professional exchange program. The program brings together emerging leaders in their respective professions to learn how U.S. experts in that profession operate and to share best practices with the other program candidates who hail from the same region and across the globe.

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