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New Iowan Youth Leadership Program Kicks Off Today

June 16, 2017

GREATER DES MOINES, IA – A total of 40 students from countries around the world are enrolled in the New Iowan Youth Leadership Program that today began its third year. The Greater Des Moines Partnership, Ethnic Minorities of Burma Advocacy and Resource Center (EMBARC) and Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) are partnering on the program. The program is designed to provide newly-arriving refugee and immigrant youths of diverse backgrounds with exposure to leadership, volunteerism, community resources, career planning and integration to their new home.

The program is intended to provide exposure to newly-arriving refugee and immigrant youths to boost their morale and confidence. It has been instrumental in helping youths understand that there are many career opportunities for them. Program participants are incoming sophomores and juniors in high school who have an interest in developing leadership skills and a desire to learn more about Greater Des Moines (DSM). Students in this year’s class are from Bhutan, Burma, Eritrea, Congo and Afghanistan, and all came to the United States as refugees.

The program includes a lecture or class once per week and a field trip once per week. Classes are at the DMACC Urban Campus on Tuesdays from 3 to 4:30 p.m. The program also includes a service learning project in which participants are divided into teams and devise a specific task or project to accomplish.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for high school students to learn important life success skills as they begin looking for jobs and considering higher education options,” said Amy Doyle, Director, Advocacy and Programs at EMBARC. “The combination of classroom learning and business- and education-related field trips is the perfect balance of formal education and hands-on experiences.”


Ethnic Minorities of Burma Advocacy and Resource Center is a grassroots organization founded by refugees from Burma in 2011, with the mission to help refugees expand their world of possibilities through advocacy, education and community development. EMBARC was founded by and for refugees on the belief that sustainable change can only come from within a community that is empowered to help themselves. EMBARC strives to connect refugees in Iowa with resources for life.

About the Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 23 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce and more than 6,000 regional business members, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes Des Moines as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. 


Des Moines Area Community College, a public institution serving the educational and career training needs of Iowans, is committed to the lifelong success of its students. As Iowa’s largest two-year college, DMACC offers 252 programs, certificates and transfer degrees, annually serving more than 70,000 credit and noncredit students on six campuses and six learning centers. Thanks to college-wide innovation, new programs and affordable tuition, DMACC continues to experience solid growth. For more information, please visit dmacc.edu.