American Alumni Club
(The article is written by Alexander Okun, member of the club)
Samara region is a very active participant in various programs administered by the United States government agencies and non-profit organizations. Several US agencies and foundations have their offices in our region : ACTR, IREX, Project Harmony, Peace Corp and Educational Advising Center of Soros Foundation. The total number of alumni of different programs is about 700 now. There are businessmen, politicians, University professors, school teachers, librarians, social workers among them. They are very active persons and real leaders in various fields of activities such as business, education, regional government, high technology, etc. The successful development of our region in a large scale is connected with accumulating of their experiences, knowledge and potential.
That is why forming of the alumni association is an important event in the regional economic and social life. Alumni express the need for sharing their experiences, for communicating with each other and promoting democratic values in our society. The meeting of the initiative group took place on the 22 of May, 2001 and it was decided to form the Alumni association called American Alumni Club.
At present, the Club consists of 130 people from different cities of the Samara region. Oleg Kokorev, Head of Samara Insurance Company, is the president of the Club.
The main directions of the Association’s activity are:
To unite the alumni of different American programs, accumulate their experiences and knowledge received in the USA.
To use the potential of the alumni for the development of the Samara region, creation of civil society, promotion democratic values in our society.
To consult potential applicants of various American programs.
To develop cross-cultural contacts through joint activities with American citizens in the Samara region, help them with cultural adaptation.
To cooperate with American government agencies and non-profit organizations and foundations in the Samara region.
To provide informational support for the cooperation between organizations and citizens of Russia and the USA.
To promote various educational programs connected with the history and culture of the USA.
The project is supported by the Samara Regional Administration, Regional Initiative and various regional organizations. Project Harmony provides Internet access for the alumni. The American Corner at the Samara Regional Library provides the space for meetings and equipment.
American Alumni Club is working now as a voluntary society conducting the American history and culture lecture program at the American corner. It held the meeting with the USA Ambassador in Russia Mr. James F. Collins and Americans, living in the Samara region. The Club has joint plans with Regional Initiative to help Americans living here to celebrate their national holidays (the first one was the Independence Day) and to broaden their knowledge of Russia.
One of the most valuable branch of our activity is the conduction of the seminars for the specialists in different fields to share the experience and knowledge recieved in the USA.
We hope that our alumni association in the Samara region will be the beginning of the long term work for the expanding of the Russian-American cooperation in various ways. It will help Russian and American organizations and citizens to understand each other, to broad the frames and forms of contacts between them. The experience of the alumni associations of different regions shows that their activities are the important foundation of the development of economic, social, cultural cooperation between Russian regions and the USA.
To join the club
If you are an alumnus of US government exchange program you can get all the necessary information in Samara at the American Corner(Irina Kuznetsova - American Corner Director, tel: 36-24-95), Irina Kuznetsova , in Togliatti at the "Fond Development Through Education" (Director - Vasily Efrosinin, tel: 8482-48-23-15), Vasily Efrosinin
To join the club you should also fill in this application and send it to the above mentioned addresses (Download the file)