2018 Academy for New Americans Graduation
Date: June 15, 2018
Time: 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Contact: Leyda Becker
Location: Sloan Convention Center
The City of Bowling Green will host a graduation ceremony on Friday, June 15th at 12:00pm for the 26 graduates from its third annual Academy for New Americans. The graduation reception will be held at the Sloan Convention Center, following the conclusion of the final session of the Academy focusing on Volunteerism, Civic and Community Engagement.
Its largest class to date, the 2018 cohort had thirty (30) applicants initially selected to participate representing fifteen (15) different countries and speaking twenty one (21) different languages. Participants were selected through an application process which began in the Winter of 2017. Participants originate from the following countries: Afghanistan, Argentina, Brazil, Bosnia, Burma, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guatemala, Iraq, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Somalia, Vietnam and Venezuela. In order to successfully complete the program, participants had to commit to attending at least four of the five sessions hosted which began in February and met on the third Thursday of each month through June.
The Academy for New Americans was developed by the City of Bowling Green as a leadership training program to empower New Americans to understand and participate in City Government. Its purpose is to provide the tools necessary to successfully navigate City services, community information and resources in order for participants to become key stakeholders in assisting their respective ethnic communities and neighborhoods.
The success of the City’s Academy for New Americans has created a ripple effect statewide. The Kentucky League of Cities (KLC) selected the City of Bowling Green as a 2017 Enterprise Cities Award recipient for its Academy for New Americans. The Enterprise Cities Award recognizes outstanding projects and programs in Kentucky cities. The awards celebrate cities and allow KLC member cities of all sizes to be inspired by, learn from and replicate successes happening in other Kentucky communities. The Enterprise Cities Award program is sponsored by Collins & Company, Inc. The sponsor provides $1,000 for each winning program to help continue its success.
The Academy for New Americans was developed and led by the International Communities Liaison in the Department of Neighborhood and Community Services. The City of Bowling Green partnered with Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government to assist in launching a similar effort through its Office for Globalization, the Louisville Welcome Academy launched in February 2017.
The City of Bowling Green will also present on its award-winning program at the 2018 Welcoming Interactive and Welcoming Economies Convening held next week, June 18 - 20 in Louisville, KY on “Developing Local Academies to Promote Civic Engagement.”
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