Global Sports Mentoring Program Exchange Alumna Becomes first Macedonian Woman to Climb Mount Everest

 Ilina Arsova, Global Sports Mentoring Program Alumna, trains on snowy mountain peaks. Ilina Arsova, Global Sports Mentoring Program Alumna, trains on snowy mountain peaks. Ilina Arsova, a mountain climber from Macedonia and alumna of the State Department and espnW Global Sports Mentoring Program, is reaching new heights to engage women and girls in sports. In May 2013, Ilina achieved an enormous feat when she became the first Macedonian woman to climb Mount Everest. But she is not stopping there -- Ilina created the Macedonia Mentoring Network to mentor other women and girls on how sports can empower them with the confidence, teamwork, and leadership skills critical to success on and off the mountain.

“When women and girls are able to fully participate in society - whether in sports, school, or the workplace – they help create stronger and more stable communities,” said Ann Stock, Assistant Secretary at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). “The Macedonia Mentoring Network will help to create a new global network of women and girls climbing to the top.”

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is dedicated to sports diplomacy. In collaboration with espnW, the Global Sports Mentoring Program connects trailblazing women sports leaders with American mentors to work closely together for a month. The goal: to increase the worldwide participation of women and girls in all aspects of sports.