Mayor Garcetti’s Office of International Affairs established the Mayor's Young Ambassador (MaYA) Initiative to connect young Angelenos with the international community, help make them aware of the global opportunities in Los Angeles, and impart an international perspective that will guide them for years to come. As part of MaYA, Mayor Garcetti launched a free international travel program for community college students that qualify for free tuition under the College Promise program. During these trips, students engage with their international peers, visit historic landmarks, participate in cultural exchanges, meet government officials, and take part in community service projects. Through the transformational experience of travel, MaYA offers young Angelenos critical college and career readiness skills and allows them to represent the best of L.A. overseas.
Since 2018, the MaYA Initiative has provided nearly 130 young Angelenos with the opportunity to travel to Mexico, Egypt, Japan, France, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Australia. These transformational experiences have been possible thanks to the generous support of the Los Angeles Consular Corps, American Airlines and the oneworld Alliance, individual and corporate donors, the RM Liu Foundation, the Hilton Foundation, Rustic Pathways, the Los Angeles Community College District, and the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles.
This is a free travel abroad program for College Promise students. All program expenses, including airfare, lodging, travelers insurance, and meals, are covered. Each group of students will be accompanied by adult supervisors. Trips will include: visits to cultural and heritage sites, community service projects, possible home stays, meetings with government officials, and exchanges with college students and academic institutions.
The first step of the selection process is the submission of an application form. After an initial round of review, selected applicants will move forward in the process and be invited to an in-person interview. After the interview process, successful candidates will be notified of their selection as finalists and asked to submit a signed agreement committing them to all program rules, guidelines, liability waivers, and protocols.
-Must be at least 18 years of age
-Must be a College Promise student currently enrolled in Los Angeles Community College District classes for the current semester
-Cumulative GPA of 2.7 or better at the time of application
-Must be able to demonstrate eligibility for a U.S. passport (Note: Our office will assist in obtaining a passport if the applicant does not have one. Applicants are not required to have a passport in order to apply, but rather just be eligible for a U.S. passport.)
-Must fill out and submit a complete application form by the deadline
-Must provide one academic or professional reference
-If invited, must participate in an in-person interview
MaYA Alumni Network
After returning from their trips abroad, the MaYA Alumni Network allows Young Ambassadors to continue exploring global opportunities in Los Angeles, engaging with international cultures and communities, and to make an impact in their city through community service and mentorship projects. MaYA alumni receive special access to programming and events, along with opportunities to network with professionals working in the international affairs field with the support of partners like the Los Angeles World Affairs Council and the Pacific Council on International Policy. Young Ambassadors also stay connected with other alumni and continue developing their leadership skills by working together to initiate and organize local community service and youth mentorship projects in their communities.