Several years ago an innovative exchange program was started by the Ukrainian American Youth Assn. (CYM) – in the form of a yearly exchange between CYM’s sister organizations in the United States and in Ukraine. The program brings about the exchange of ideas, best practices and life experiences between the counselors and junior counselors of the two countries. Perhaps even more importantly, it is helping to develop lines of communications, collegial realationships and even enduring friendships between developing leaders of our youth organization in two very different countries; it foster the realization that although we are different, we have a strong common bond that unites us
The Counselor Exchange program continued its tradition this year as four American CYM members traveled to attend summer camps in Ukraine. CYM’s National Executive started its search for prospective exchange candidates in December of 2011. With a goal of identifying a diverse and eclectic group of candidates, nominations were solicited from Program Directors of the organization’s national Counselor Training Camp as well as from individual CYM branches throughout the United States. Nominated candidates were asked to complete an application, produce letters of reference and recommendation, and undergo an interview process with the Exchange Committee. After an extensive elimination process, four participants were chosen for the 2012 Exchange, representing CYM branches of the eastern and Midwestern parts of the U.S.: Markian Blazejowskyj (Jersey City, NJ), Solomia Pylypiw (Whippany, NJ), Olga Tymouch (Chicago, IL) and Kristina Shnyak (Chicago, IL).
They flew to Ukraine, where they attended vyshkilniy tabir and then worked as counselors and counselors in training at the Ukrainian summer CYM camps. You can watch a multimedia presentation of their experience:
If you are interested in becoming a participant of this program check this site for upcoming information in late November, or speak with the Holovnyj Vykhovnyk or Bulavnyj of your Oseredok.