About Pan-Africa Youth Leadership Program (PAYLP)

Ball State hosts the Pan-Africa Youth Leadership Program (PAYLP) for high school students, a program sponsored by the U.S Department of State and implemented by Meridian International Center, a Washington, DC based non-profit institution. This dynamic leadership exchange program brings together 72 African students and adult mentors in three cohorts from across Africa, for three weeks, to strengthen their understanding of civic duties and responsibilities, respect for diversity, and the importance of community engagement.

Selected students travel to the U.S. in Spring, Summer and Fall of each year. The first four days are spent in Washington, DC to learn about the U.S. history, culture and the U.S. system of democratic governance, civic rights and responsibilities in the U.S. followed by two weeks at Ball State University, where participants are exposed to a mix of classroom-based lectures, training and simulations focused on social entrepreneurship, interactive workshops and community engagement. The participants also have time for site visits, cultural and volunteer activities, and speaking engagements which provide hands-on learning opportunities for skills application and networking. Lastly, to help the participants experience the life of an American teenager and to have hands on opportunity to interact with Indiana citizens (“Hoosiers”), they are paired up to live with American host families.