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Global Youth Travel Awards 2017

Extraordinary Experience 2017

Ariana Sánchez Barrios – Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE)

The CIEE Civic Leadership Summit brings a select cohort of Summer Work Travel students together for an all-expenses-paid, 3-day symposium in Washington, D.C., in August, focussing on teaching motivated young leaders from around the world about the power of diplomacy and how to become change-makers. The summit is, at its core, an opportunity: to learn, to network, to grow, and to get started.

Ariana Sánchez Barrios is the sort of person who turns every opportunity into a result, which is exactly why CIEE chose her as a Civic Leadership Summit fellow. She was so inspired by her time in D.C. – who she met, what she learned in our workshops – that she created her own summit for professional development in her home country of Venezuela. The CEVAZ Leadership Seminar was designed from the ground up with young Venezuelans in mind, and will cover topics like digital marketing, social networks, public speaking, personal branding, storytelling, and other essential elements of virtual business and enterprising. Presenters include journalists, university professors, brand managers, TV and radio hosts, life coaches, motivational speakers, and more.

The looming crisis in Venezuela leaves her country at a crossroad: in one direction we see a stable democracy, while in the other we see an autocracy that can’t provide for its own people. Ariana is fighting back with entrepreneurship. By helping other young people like her build the businesses, the ventures, and the NGOs that Venezuela so desperately needs, she is working toward a future of hope.

She is on a mission to create positive change in her home country using her leadership and exchange experiences as tools to help her achieve her goals. She is wise beyond her years and committed to her work that it’s hard to imagine anything stopping her. In her own words, “I believe we are all an important and useful tool for society.”

Learn more about Ariana here.