AS Evan Ryan with students

The 2015-2016 Pathways To Success Program: A Year Of Firsts And Unforgettable Experiences!

It has been a busy first month of 2016 for the 2015-16 CCI participants! After a much needed winter break, all 147 students representing 12 countries (Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan, South Africa and Turkey), embarked on a tristate journey for the annual Pathways to Success Program (PSP) which took place in Washington D.C., Philadelphia and New York City from January 10th to January 17th.

AS Evan Ryan with students

Assistant Secretary, Evan Ryan poses for a selfie with the CCI students. Image courtesy of ECA and the US Department of State

This ‘Year of Firsts’ boasted an exciting schedule. For the first time in CCI history, all three consortia met under one roof, hosted by NOVA’s beautiful Schlesinger center. The goals of this event were connecting, networking, learning and collaborating. State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Assistant Secretary Evan Ryan, who offered words of wisdom and motivation to the group of nearly 250 students and took the time to sit in for some candid photographs. This was followed by a panel of experts on the topics of entrepreneurship, innovation and global change and concluded with a lively Networking discussion.



CCI students string activity

CCI students connecting topics and discussing possibilities

The theme of the PSP was Connectivity – allowing students to connect to their own experiences and strengths and also to one another in an effort to plan for their future. Students presented on important global topics – including research presentations and moving presentational acting. Numerous connectivity workshops were provided that allowed students to reflect on their experience in the United States, refocus on their upcoming semester and on their return, Action Plan for the upcoming future and understanding their own leadership abilities. A favorite amongst the students was the String Activity workshop which shows how we are all interconnected in this world even if not immediately apparent.

For more detail on the Peacebuilding workshop and David J. Smith please visit:

The connectivity theme continued with an engaging and interactive discussion by Mr. David J. Smith on peacebuilding and tolerance. Mr. Smith, the President of the Forage Center for Peacebuilding and Humanitarian Education and former senior manager at the U.S. Institute of Peace is a leading authority on peacebuilding, conflict resolution, and civic and global education. In a very dynamic session, Mr. Smith and the CCI participants explored the current state of challenges and discussed tangible means by which each CCI participant could promote peacebuilding across borders via “Peacebuilding Action Plans”. The impact of the workshop was palpable as CCI students are still discussing how they can make these action plans a reality.

White House visit

The CCI group visiting the White House

The CCC CCI participants made CCI history once again by being the first group to collectively visit the White House!

Rocky Steps

All 147 CCC CCI participants on the Rocky Steps in Philadelpia

After exploring historic Philadelphia, and getting the first ever CCI group photo on the legendary Rocky Steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the CCC group made its way to New York City.

The 2015-16 students had not time to slow down while in New York City – a combination of cultural and educational exploration kept them very busy. Students toured the UN, met with two United States diplomats at the United States Mission to the UN, visited Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, saw the city from the top of the Empire State Building and cheered each other on during the farewell celebration and awards ceremony – where exemplary academic and leadership achievements were recognized.

9/11 Tribute Center Facebook Page

9/11 Tribute Center Facebook Page

Students were also able to tour Ground Zero with survivors and families of the 9/11 tragedy who now volunteer with the 9/11 Tribute Center. The students were awestricken with the first account stories. The CCI participants made quite an impact on some of the volunteers at the Tribute Center.

Many thanks to everyone that made this event possible and so very unforgettable. What a great way to start the New Year 2016.

Posted in Events, Participants.