By: Adra Kusnirova, Greenheart Work and Travel Senior Partner Relations Manager

Summer Work Travel (SWT) program alumni reunited in Ghana last month. This was the very first meeting of its kind in the city, nation, region, and continent! Former Summer Work Travel participants were accompanied by leading local agent, Travel Empire, visa sponsor, Greenheart staff members, and American diplomats from the U.S. Embassy in Accra. The young leaders gathered over dinner to discuss how the SWT program positively influenced their lives. We even heard from three young entrepreneurs who now own their own businesses. One participant said of the program: “I had the opportunity to learn so much, not just from American culture, but from all the participants I met. I also built up my self-confidence as well as my independence.”

The United States and Ghana have a storied cultural exchange history. John F. Kennedy sent the first American Peace Corp volunteer group to Ghana in 1961, and the U.S. currently hosts over 3,000 Ghanaian university students at higher education institutions. The SWT program also started in 1961, contributes to this important transcontinental relationship. The Ghanaian SWT alumni plan to meet soon to discuss the democratic structure of their association, how they can best serve future United States-Ghana exchange participants, nd finalize future events, which will include volunteer projects to give back to their communities.

If you are a former Work and Travel participant in Ghana who would like to join the alumni group, please contact ahayes@greenheart.org for more information.