Young Canadian leaders travel to United States as Youth Ambassadors

The U.S. Embassy, in conjunction with the State University of New York (SUNY) College at Plattsburgh and Fulbright Canada, is pleased to announce the selection of 16 outstanding Canadian youth community leaders and two Canadian adult educators for the Youth Ambassadors Program.

The selected participants represent a variety of backgrounds and hail from across Canada. They earned a place in the Youth Ambassadors Program based on their proven commitment to leadership and community involvement to bring about positive change. They will receive funding to travel to the United States for three weeks to explore the themes of civic education, community service, leadership development, and social inclusion. They will first travel to Ottawa for orientation at the U.S. Embassy on July 19 and then will travel to Plattsburgh, NY, for 12 days of interactive workshop sessions and home stays. The group will then visit Hyde Park, NY, and conclude the exchange program with five days in Washington, D.C. In Washington, they will meet with senior officials of the Department of State and the Embassy of Canada. After they return home, Youth Ambassadors will implement service projects in their schools and communities.

Since it began in Brazil in 2002, the U.S. Department of State Youth Ambassadors Program has expanded to 25 countries to bring together high school students and adult educators to promote mutual understanding, increase leadership skills, and prepare youth to make a difference in their communities. During the program, Youth Ambassadors assist American volunteer and community service organizations, learn about and experience American culture through homestays, and build links with American civil society and schools. The students gain new leadership skills and perspectives to take back and apply to their own service projects in their home communities. For additional details on the Youth Ambassadors Program, visit:

Youth Ambassadors are available for interviews before and after departure upon request. Media organizations that have a presence in Washington may arrange coverage of the group’s program.  Photo requests can also be accommodated.

2016-2017 Canadian Youth Ambassadors

Atlantic Canada

  • Katherine Chaput, Middle Sackville, NS
  • Tyler Mugford, Cartwright, NL
  • Sun Min Park, Moncton, NB


  • Ana Maria Lleras, Ottawa, ON
  • Gil Angela Dela Cruz, Woodbridge, ON
  • Gina Louttit Bellefeuille, Ottawa, ON
  • Jacob DaCosta, Stoney Creek, ON
  • Justin Xu, Mississauga, ON
  • Nana Boahen, Brampton, ON
  • Tsahai Carter, Markham, ON
  • Zackary Anderson, Smith Falls, ON

Western Canada

  • Amanda Leong, Calgary, AB
  • Aidan Sander, Lethbridge, AB
  • Tianni Arseneault, Victoria, BC
  • Yanchen “Jessie” Ou, Vancouver, BC

Northern Canada

  • Coral Westwood, Kugluktuk, NU

Western Canada

  • Arminder “Michael” Bal, Vancouver, BC
  • Theresa Huntley, La Loche, SK