Community Engagement Exchange Program (CEE)

The Community Engagement Exchange (CEE) program is a dynamic global network of innovators working with communities to address critical 21st-century issues. CEE equips dedicated visionaries with the expertise, skills, and resources to develop multisector approaches and build healthy and engaged communities in over 100 countries.

CEE is a yearlong program designed to enable civil society leaders, ages 21-28, to harness the power of networks, relationships, and information for the public good, specifically on issues related to civic dialogue and peacebuilding, open and participatory government, women and gender, resilience and sustainable development, and youth engagement.

Fellowship components include:

  • Three-month Practicum in the United States: IREX matches CEE fellows to civil society organizations throughout the United States. Designated supervisors and peers support the fellows through a three-month, hands-on professional practicum.
  • Leadership and Civic Engagement Academy: CEE Fellows explore the program themes through interactive curriculum that includes service learning, face-to-face trainings, mentorship, professional coaching, and inclusion in a global network.
  • Community Engagement Project (CEP): With the help of their U.S. host organization and mentors, CEE fellows design and plan a community engagement project to carry out after they return home. Once the fellows depart the United State, they put these projects into action in their home communities.
  • Community Engagement Project (CEP) Exchange: Select U.S. hosts and CEE Specialists will travel to a CEE alumnus’ country and work collaboratively to support the fellow’s project implementation and bring back what they learn to strengthen communities across the United States or their home country.

Application Information

The CEE program call for applications is open from Monday, November 15, 2021, through Friday, January 14, 2022, at 11:59 pm EST.

Apply here => Community Engagement Exchange Program application information | IREX

Note: International travel is anticipated to take place in early 2023.

Eligibility Requirements

Competition for the CEE program is merit-based and open to emerging civil society and community leaders who meet all the criteria listed below. Applications that do not meet these eligibility requirements will be disqualified and will not be reviewed by the selection committee.

  • Between the ages of 21-28 at time of application
  • Guatemalan citizen
  • Minimum of two years of professional or volunteer experience at time of application
  • Living and working in Guatemala
    • Currently working on a community engagement initiative in your home country, either in a professional or volunteer capacity, with a vision to pursuing a career working to support civil society
    • Individuals with refugee status living in Guatemala and working on behalf of their home community may be given special consideration
  • Demonstrable high level of proficiency in spoken and written English at time of application
    • Semifinalists will be required to take (or submit recent scores for) a TOEFL or IELTS English language test
  • Available to travel to the United States for three months
  • Committed to returning to your home country to complete a Community Engagement Project (CEP)
  • Not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  • Have not applied for U.S. permanent residency within the past three years
  • Eligible for a J-1 visa
    • Applicants who have participated in an exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Government must have fulfilled their two-year home residency requirement by time of application
  • Committed to returning to your home country for a minimum of two years after completing the program; and
  • Not a current IREX employee, consultant, or immediate family member of one

Financial Support

The program covers the cost of most expenses associated with the following:

  • J-1 visa support
  • Round-trip travel from participant’s home city to the United States
  • Monthly allowance to cover housing, meals, and other living expenses while in the United States
  • Accident and sickness insurance while in the United States

Important note for all potential applicants to U.S. exchange programs:

As of November 8, 2021, all non-U.S. citizens seeking to enter the United States by air are required to comply with new requirements related to COVID-19 testing and vaccination status. In order to be eligible for consideration at this time, you must be able to meet these new requirements.

Please review the information available here:  https://gt.usembassy.gov/updated-requeriments-for-air-travelers-to-the-u-s-due-to-covid-19/.

For further details and guidance, we refer you to the U.S. CDC website:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/noncitizens-US-air-travel.html https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/proof-of-vaccination.html.