The Long-lasting Impact of International Visitor Leadership Program Exchanges

The connections and positive impacts of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) are long-lasting and touch the lives and careers of both our international visitors and American counterparts. These are just a few of their stories.

June Chua

June Chua, a transgender woman, was inspired by her 2018 IVLP experience. Equipped with new knowledge and connections, she established the first transgender shelter in Singapore. During her visit to the United States, Chua found that in one state alone there could be more than 60 LGBTQ+ organizations and centers. She realized there was a need to create a safe space for young transgender people in Singapore. The Alicia Community Center, which she opened in November 2018, includes a museum of Singapore transgender history, a library of transgender and LGBTI resources, and peer-to-peer counseling services.

Kathy Korman Frey

Kathy Korman Frey, who teaches Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership at George Washington University, participated as a keynote speaker for our multi-country IVLP on Women and Entrepreneurship. Her engaging and interactive presentation was more like a workshop than a lecture, challenging participants to articulate their entrepreneurial visions and specify steps for launching and expanding their ventures. At the end of their project, participants singled out Frey’s keynote as a highlight. One participant, from Taiwan, followed up by inviting Frey to travel to Taiwan in November 2019 to speak to a group of women entrepreneurs at the APEC Conference sponsored by the Taiwanese government.

Serhii Letuchyi

Serhii Letuchyi is a 2017 alumnus of IVLP. A wheelchair user, he resides in the city of Starobielsk in eastern Ukraine. During his 2017 program, Letuchyi learned about the Americans with Disabilities Act and efforts to create more accessibilities schools, workplaces, and cities. Upon his return home, he organized a review of accessibility at municipal buildings in Strobielsk and shared the outcome with local officials, business leaders, and the public. His outreach led to the construction of five ramps that improved accessibility in his city. Letuchyi was recognized as a Gold Star in 2020 by the U.S. Department of State’s Office of International Visitors within the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, for his extraordinary and creative work to advance disability rights and social inclusion in Ukraine.

Raquel Beneby Hart

Raquel Beneby Hart took part in a November 2019 IVLP exchange focused on entrepreneurship and women’s empowerment. As personal assistant to the Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Beneby-Hart engages in investor, diplomatic, stakeholder, and community relations. Upon her return to the Island of Grand Bahama, Beneby-Hart founded the Raquel Beneby Network TV (RBNTV), an online streaming network that features entrepreneurs, experts, thought leaders, as well as others who are looking for an opportunity to spotlight their work. The network focuses on science and tech, relationships, money, the economy, and entertainment news. Beneby-Hart wants to encourage women and girls in the Bahamas and elsewhere to pursue their goals in entrepreneurship. She was also featured on the Grand Bahama’s local TV station ZNS TV13 where she discussed her IVLP experience.

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