‘Start Strong Bauska’ Founder Connects with Counterparts on Return IVLP Exchange

August 16, 2018

Five years after her first International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) experience, Solvita Jirgensone will return to the United States as an IVLP alumna.

Solvita is the Board Chairman of the NGO Apvieniba JUMS, and founder of “Start Strong Bauska,” which provides career and entrepreneurship advising for young adults, at-risk youth, and educators from across the region. Start Strong provides young adults and educators with hands-on, interactive lessons on various career, personal development, and entrepreneurship-related topics, as well as curriculum and a toolkit for educators.

Ms. Jirgensone’s outstanding efforts and collaboration with the Latvian Ministry of Education, Embassies in Riga, Vilnius and Minsk, schools, universities, youth NGOs, and USG alumni has led to the program’s high popularity among students and educators in three countries. Since 2016, the Start Strong program has been successfully integrated into high school curricula in various regions of Latvia, Lithuania, and Belarus. Her 2013 IVLP addressing issues facing American youth was instrumental to her success, providing the contacts and ideas needed to further her career.

During her return trip to the United States, Solvita will speak at the 'Diplomacy Begins Here' summit in Charlotte, NC, a Global Ties U.S. initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. She will also present to U.S. Department of State staff members on August 21 on how the IVLP shaped her career success.

Throughout her travels to Jackson, WY, Grand Island, NE, and Charlotte, NC, Solvita will engage with successful educators and innovators in various sectors to exchange best practices and develop more effective public-private partnerships.

Follow Solvita’s journey on Facebook and Twitter at @StateIVLP.