US-PH Exchange Alumni Celebrate 70th Anniversary in Davao, Plan New Projects #ForMindanao

IVLP alumnus and Office of the Presidential Advisor on the Peace Process Assistant Secretary Dickson Hermoso (right) joined Public Affairs Counselor Philip Roskamp at the Alumni Reconnects in Davao City.

Davao City, September 25, 2018 — More than 330 alumni of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs from across Mindanao gathered in Davao City to celebrate the 70th anniversary of U.S.-Philippines exchanges, enhance regional alumni engagement, and plan collaborative projects on issues critical to Mindanao.

On September 16, 120 alumni of U.S. government-sponsored exchanges from Eastern Mindanao reunited at Marco Polo Hotel for the Davao Alumni Reconnects, the fourth in a series of alumni reunions nationwide to mark the 70th anniversary of U.S.-Philippines exchanges.  During the event, Dickson Hermoso, International Visitor Leadership Program alumnus and Assistant Secretary of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, highlighted how exchange programs have strengthened the longstanding relationship between the United States and the Philippines.  “Our partners, like the United States of America, are very instrumental in our work for peace,” Hermoso said.  “Their exchange programs have not only allowed the exchanges of ideas and the sharing of cultures between our country and America, they have also given us an opportunity to learn innovative practices to address the problems here in the Philippines.”

U.S. Embassy in the Philippines Public Affairs Counselor Philip Roskamp said, “As we celebrate the 70th anniversary of exchanges this year, what we are really celebrating are the friendships, professional networks, collaborations, and people-to-people bonds that these exchanges have forged,” he said.

From September 15 to 17, 160 alumni of the Philippine Youth Leadership Program (PYLP) came together in Davao City to mark their program’s 15th anniversary.  PYLP sends Mindanao high school students on a four-week exchange to the United States to enhance their civic engagement and project management skills.

On September 18, 50 alumni of other U.S. government youth programs joined PYLP alumni for the inaugural Youth Leaders #ForMindanao Summit.  The Summit focused on the importance of collaborative leadership to address critical social and economic challenges in Mindanao.  The Summit resulted in 19 youth-led initiatives to address local education, peace-building, and sustainable development challenges in communities across Mindanao.

In 1948, the U.S. government sponsored the first Fulbright exchange for Filipinos to study in the United States.  Since then, more than 9,000 Filipinos and Americans have participated in U.S.-Philippines exchanges.

Information on U.S. Embassy educational and professional exchange opportunities can be found at https://ph.usembassy.gov/education-culture/.