Annual Academy for New Americans begins February 23

February 20, 2017
Leyda Becker - (270) 393-3766
Bowling Green, KY
Annual Academy for New Americans begins February 23

The City of Bowling Green’s 2nd Annual Academy for New Americans begins on Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 9:00am at the Neighborhood and Community Services Department located at 707 East Main Avenue.

City Manager Kevin DeFebbo will welcome Academy participants, sharing the vision and purpose for this project.  Twenty-seven (27) applicants were selected to participate, representing thirteen (13) different countries and speaking eighteen (18) different languages.  The first ever in the State of Kentucky, the Academy for New Americans follows national efforts to support the linguistic, economic, and civic integration of immigrants and refugees.

The Academy for New Americans is a free leadership-training program sponsored by the City of Bowling Green that empowers New Americans to understand and participate in City Government. The purpose of the program is to provide New Americans the tools necessary to successfully navigate City services, community information and resources in order to become key stakeholders in assisting their respective ethnic communities and neighborhoods.

According to the US Census, the City of Bowling Green’s foreign-born population rose to 13.9% by 2015 estimates from 10.6% in 2010.  City manager, Kevin D. DeFebbo led the effort to start this initiative in 2016 believing that “integration provides added value to the community by helping to develop the unique contributions of all residents”   The inaugural Academy for New Americans graduated seventeen (17) participants from eight (8) different countries in June 2016. 

The success of the City’s Academy for New Americans has created a ripple effect statewide.  At the end of June, 2016 the City of Bowling Green entered into an agreement with Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government through its Department of Economic Development to use Bowling Green’s Academy for New Americans Curriculum.  Leyda Becker, the City’s International Communities Liaison, believes that the “City of Bowling Green is setting the standard and commitment in serving every resident in our City.”

The Academy for New Americans is led by the International Communities Liaison Office (ICL) in the Department of Neighborhood and Community Services.  The Academy consists of day long sessions held once a month, on the fourth Thursday of every month, ending with a graduation after the last session of the Academy in June.

For more information on the Academy for New Americans visit: or contact Leyda Becker (270) 393-3766 at


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