Seven of NI's Young Political Leaders travelled to Washington as part of the American Council of Young Political Leaders Programme (ACYPL).
On 14 March 2015, seven of Northern Ireland’s Young Political Leaders travelled to Washington, D. C. to take part in the American Council of Young Political Leaders Programme (ACYPL).
There they had the opportunity to meet with representatives from a number of different organisations, including the US Department of State, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and Rock the Vote. Having explored the nation’s capital, participants made the onward journey to Boston to spend time in the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives.
ACYPL works with in-country organisations such as Politics Plus to develop international educational exchanges for young political leaders worldwide. These programmes aim to explore the governance, politics, policy making, bilateral relations, culture and geographic diversity of the host country. Participants of ACYPL exchange programmes are provided with opportunities to strengthen their personal leadership skills and enhance their understanding for international relations.
On her return from participating in the programme, Gráinne Maskey, who serves as Special Advisor to the Minister for Education, stated ‘the ACYPL trip to D.C. and Boston was such as great learning experience. It was excellent to be able to meet and exchange experiences with those working in those two great cities’.
She added that, ‘the contacts that we made with our US counterparts will be beneficial throughout our careers, but the relationships that were built and experiences shared with fellow local participants of the programme have undoubtedly helped to create a better understanding of viewpoints and political perspectives’.