Authentic immersion and service programming empowers young people to become lifelong leaders in our global community.

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Preparing Young People for an Interconnected World

  • Build cultural competence
  • Explore what it means to be a global citizen
  • Develop communication and interpersonal skills to connect with all people
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Becoming Lifelong Leaders in Our Communities

  • Examine volunteering and civic engagement through the framework of ethical service
  • Identify leadership strengths and explore critical issues that affect local and global communities
  • Collaborate with local experts on developing solutions to social issues

AMIGOS applies the principles of positive youth development theory, asset-based community development theory, and social and emotional learning theory to create transformational programs.

Since 1965

30,000 alumni worldwide 

Programming in 17 countries across the Americas 

Local chapters in 14 cities across the United States 

58 years as the expert in international youth leadership and service programming 

300+ partnerships with schools and universities, government ministries, international development agencies, and local nonprofits 

1,514,870+ service hours completed by volunteers 

The Need for Youth Leadership Programming

According to the World Economic Forumyoung people are facing a “learning and skills crisis” and “demand opportunity and an education which allows them to build their skills and contribute to their own societies.”  

The U.S. Department of Labor says that youth need the following experiences to gain skills and competencies to meet the challenges of adulthood. 

  • Mentorship and opportunities to exercise leadership and build self-esteem 
  • Training in skills such as self-advocacy and conflict resolution 
  • Exposure to personal leadership activities including community service  

Commitment to Access

AMIGOS relies on the support of our donor community to drive our programs forward. In 2022, we are raising $1.4MM to underwrite and fund our programming. Every year, we distribute $300,000+ through our Financial Assistance Program. In addition to need-based and merit-based awards for U.S. students to join our open enrollment programs, AMIGOS increases access through the following:

 

Donor Funded Programs

AMIGOS currently operates The Social Impact Accelerator: Powered by Capital Plus Financial, The Classroom Community Impact Project, and the Youth Ambassadors Program, which are underwritten by private donors and federal grant awards. These fully donor-funded programs have allowed AMIGOS to innovate and develop new program models to reach even more youth across the Americas.

 

The Partnerships Fund

The Partnerships Fund allows AMIGOS to reach U.S. students who would not be able to participate without the financial and pre-program support provided by both AMIGOS and our partner organizations. The Partnerships Fund is made possible by donations from Scott and Cathi Roberts, the Weatherspoon Charitable Fund, and two anonymous donors.

 

Latin American Youth

Since the 1990s, we have sponsored students from countries throughout Latin America to join our summer programs. Over the last decade, this enrollment has expanded into our Youth Ambassadors Program, Gap Program, Social Impact Accelerator Program, and more.

 

Increasing Accessibility through the AMIGOS Chapter Network 

There are 14 active local AMIGOS chapters across the United States. Chapters boards are primarily made up of dedicated volunteer board members. They facilitate the pre-departure training activities and build community by connecting students to local service initiatives. The chapter network also helps to make AMIGOS accessible through group fundraising efforts, supplemental financial assistance awards, and pre-departure support.

Lifelong and Career Impact

Our programs create a lasting impact on alumni in our program pillars of personal leadership, cultural competence, and commitment to service. Alumni make a positive impact on their communities through both their personal and professional lives. They enter all career fields but with higher concentrations in public service and diplomacy, public health and medicine, international business and law, primary and higher education, and nonprofits and social justice. 

Alumni report the following outcomes through leadership and experience surveys: 

98% increased cultural competency 

96% improved Spanish language skills 

94% improved self-confidence, communication skills, and problem-solving skills 

91% developed skills and qualities attractive to future employers 

90% increased ability to be effective leaders and support others 

83% inspired to be more actively involved in their own communities 

Hear more stories of transformation and impact on our testimonials page.