Department of State Pan-Africa Youth Leadership Program

Apply: U.S. Department of State Pan-Africa Youth Leadership Program (PAYLP) 2018

The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy welcomes applications for the 2018 Pan-Africa Youth Leadership Program (PAYLP). PAYLP is designed to provide secondary school youth (ages 15-18) and adult educators the opportunity to explore themes such as entrepreneurship, civic education, youth leadership, economic development, and respect for diversity.

Application Deadline: Varies by countries

To Be Taken At (Country): USA

About the Award: PAYLP is an intensive academic program offered by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA)’s Youth Programs Division. Through three-week intensive exchanges in the United States, participants engage in workshops on leadership and service, community site visits related to the program themes and subthemes, interactive training in conflict resolution, presentations, visits to high schools, local cultural activities, and homestays with local American families.  A key component of the program is for participants to develop follow-on community-based projects in their home communities to effect positive change after their return home.

Type: Short courses


  • Youth participants should be high school students aged between 15 to 18 years at the start of the exchange who have demonstrated leadership potential through academic work, community involvement, and extracurricular activities.
  • Each exchange delegation will also include adult participants who are teachers, trainers or community leaders who work with youth.  They will fill the roles of exchange participant, chaperone, and post-exchange mentor.
  • All Candidates should have sufficient proficiency in English to allow them to participate in an academicprogram.

A Successful candidate for this program will have the following characteristics:

1   Student candidates:

  • be a high school student who is 15, 16, 17, or 18 years of age by the start of the exchange
  • be proficient in English
  • attend at least one semester of high school in his/her home country following completion of the program;
  • indicate a serious interest in learning about the United States
  • demonstrate strong leadership qualities and potential in his/her school or community
  • have a high level of academic achievement, as indicated by academic grades, awards, and teacher recommendations
  • demonstrate a commitment to community service and extracurricular activities
  • have had little or no prior study or travel experience in the United States or elsewhere outside of their home country
  • be mature, responsible, independent, confident, open-minded, tolerant, thoughtful and inquisitive; and
  • be willing and able to fully participate in an intensive program, community service, and active educational travel program during the exchange, as well as in follow-on activities afterward in their home countries.

2   Adult candidates:

  • be a teacher, trainer, volunteer, or community leader who works with youth
  • be proficient in English
  • have a commitment to remain in teaching positions or other positions of influence on young leaders after the program
  • indicate a serious interest in learning about the United States
  • demonstrate an interest in developing professional skills
  • be supportive of the teenage participants and assist them to become productive and responsible members of society
  • exhibit maturity and open-mindedness, and
  • be willing and able to fully participate in an intensive program, community service, and active educational travel program during the exchange, as well as to mentor youth in their follow-on activities afterward in their home countries.

Number of Awards: Approximately 50 youth and adult participants will travel to the United States in August of 2018.

Value of Award: The Department of State will cover travel and ground transportation, as well as book, cultural, housing, subsistence, mailing, incidental allowances and health benefits for all participants.

Duration of Program: August 4-25, 2018.

How to Apply: A complete application package will include the following:

  • Application Form (Adult PDF 245 KBYouth PDF 328 KB)
  • Reference Form (Adult PDF 194 KBYouth PDF 150 KB)
  • School Transcripts for all years of secondary school completed (photocopy)
  • Curriculum Vitae (English version)
  • Signed letter of recommendation from Teacher/Supervisor (Portuguese or English version)
  • Identification Document (photocopy)

To submit an application  and a reference forms by e-mail, send materials to with your name and “2018 Pan-Africa Youth Leadership Program (PAYLP)” in the subject line.

Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Visit the Program Webpage for Details

Award Providers: US Embassy

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