The Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF) is a U.S. Department of State initiative that provides grant money to alumni who want to carry out projects in their home communities. Since its inception, AEIF has supported over 300 alumni-led initiatives worldwide. AEIF has reached millions of people through training, awareness campaigns, and leadership initiatives.
In 2018, out of more than 1,300 project submissions from 150 countries, 67 alumni teams representing 61 countries were selected as AEIF winners! From mentoring youth in social entrepreneurship to creating clubs that promote religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence, alumni around the world are leading their communities with innovative solutions to global challenges. Global UGRAD Alumni have won this grant several times. It CAN be you. Interested in learning more or applying? Please visit AEIF’s website today and submit your application by February 28, 2019!
Need some inspiration? Read below about the project from Global UGRAD alumna and AEIF 2018 finalist, Johanny Amaya, 2015-16 Global UGRAD student from Honduras at Emporia State University:
Led by a strong desire and commitment to create change in Tegucigalpa, Johanny founded Empower Honduras (EH). EH is an organization that empowers young people from foster homes, orphanages, and under-served communities to succeed in the labor market and become community activists.
After finishing her semester as a Global UGRAD student (2016), she was chosen to participate in the Advancing Leaders Fellowship Program, where among 25 proposals EH was selected as a finalist. This achievement represented the opportunity for 30 Honduran teenagers to have access for the first time to English classes and leadership and entrepreneurial workshops.
Driven by the great results and impact of the first participants, Johanny decided to expand the program and give the opportunity to a new cohort. Therefore, in 2017 with the help of 9 volunteers from Honduras, Venezuela and Paraguay, she applied to the AEIF. Unfortunately, that year the answer was a “NO” – “Next Opportunity”, so she decided to try again and applied to the AEIF 2018, this time becoming a finalist and having the chance to keep empowering other vulnerable youth population in Honduras.
Today, after almost two years of hard work, 25 students have graduated from the program, acquiring a lower-intermediate level of English and having developed meaningful social-interpersonal, cognitive, emotional coping, and work readiness skills. This knowledge will not only help them throughout their professional and personal life but will also help them access to in-country opportunities for employment.