For Immediate Release
October 2, 2017
Alliance Abroad Awarded Best Work Experience Provider
Ubuntu Institute Partnership Recognized as Innovative Work Experience Program
Austin-based Alliance Abroad was recognized for the second year in a row at The World Youth and Student Travel Conference (WYSTC) held this year in Montreal, Canada. During the event’s annual award ceremony, Alliance Abroad received the award for “Best Work Experience Provider,” an honor bestowed on an organization that demonstrates “innovation, originality, creativity, implementing exceptional ideas and consumer satisfaction.”
The Best Work Experience Provider award is designated for providers of work experience program that demonstrate “innovative and diverse offerings.” The award is open to any organization providing, work abroad, work and travel, internship and camp counselor programs.
“We’re both humbled and extremely excited to be recognized again this year,” says James Bell, Alliance Abroad President. “It’s ironic that the idea for the program for which we received recognition this year, came as a result of our award last year for Extraordinary Experience Provider,” Bell muses.
In 2015, Alliance Abroad initiated an internship scholarship for a deserving youth serving as a WYSTC volunteer. The first winner of the yearlong internship was Thato Khasuli, a hospitality and tourism student from South Africa. “We recognized potential and passion in this young man,” says Victoria Lynden, Alliance Abroad founder. “Thato was so invested in winning the U.S. internship.” Lynden added that the expense-paid internship has been a game changer for Mr. Khasuli.
“I started this company as a way to provide young people, especially those with limited means, with a way to experience more of the world,” explains Lynden. As a youth, Ms. Lynden traveled to Europe, working as an au pair to finance her experience. “Being exposed to other cultures and countries was such an eye-opener for me,” says Lynden. “It made me acutely aware of the social, cultural and educational benefits of global travel, and made me determined to bring similar experiences to others.”
After receiving recognition for providing Mr. Khasuli with the internship that he credits for the job he holds now in a luxury Cape Town hotel, Alliance Abroad began exploring ways to provide similar opportunities for other disadvantaged youths.
The company sought out partnerships with organizations that focused on advancing social, economic and educational opportunities for underserved youths. When Alliance Abroad discovered The Ubuntu Institute, they felt the African organization’s commitment to social and economic goals was in line with their vision for meeting the needs of the underserved and underprivileged.
“The Ubuntu Institute has tremendous reputation for improving the lives of Africans facing economic, social and physical hardships,” comments Bell. “They are dedicated to ‘driving social change through a values-based leadership approach,’ and we are honored to partner with them in that important social mission.”
The Ubuntu partnership will bring almost 500 African youths and students to the U.S. this year, providing them with education and training that will help them find work opportunities previously unavailable to them.
Bell and Lynden recognize the award’s significance, thanking the many businesses who serve as host companies without which, they say, the program would not be possible. They also acknowledge their industry peers who honored them.
“This award is not merely a reflection of our work; it is a recognition by the industry of the importance of developing and funding programs that impact positive social and economic around the world,” says Bell. “Through this program, we’ve been able to level a playing field for greater participation for people from all walks of life, particularly those who are socially and economically disadvantaged.”
Alliance Abroad will continue to seek similar opportunities and support other programs that provide educational and cultural experiences to global youths. “What can be more meaningful than leaving a legacy of goodwill, opportunity and hope?” Lynden concludes.
About Alliance Abroad
Fueled by a desire to bring education, enrichment and enlightenment to people around the globe, AAG is passionate about unleashing the potential of global citizens. We connect leading businesses and brands with international talent for mutual benefit and amazing results. Learn more at aagop.wpengine.com
Now in its 26th year, the World Youth and Student Travel Conference (WYSTC) is the leading trade event for the global youth, student and educational travel industry. Since its inception in 1992 as the annual event of WYSE Travel Confederation, youth and student travel professionals have been gathering annually to trade, network and take part in seminars and workshops.