City celebrates graduates of Academy for New Americans

June 12, 2024
Leyda Becker - 270-935-8960
Bowling Green, KY
City celebrates graduates of Academy for New Americans

The City of Bowling Green will host a graduation ceremony on Friday, June 14 at 12 p.m. for the 29 graduates from its sixth cohort of the Academy for New Americans, making it the largest graduating class to date.

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Bowling Green's Academy for New Americans participants graduate Friday ushering in a group of new civic leaders.

The graduation reception will be held at the Sloan Convention Center, following the conclusion of the final session of the Academy focusing on volunteerism, civic and community engagement.

The fifth and final session of the Academy for New Americans will take place on Thursday, June 13 where the participants will put their leadership skills to the test by volunteering their time for Bowling Green/Warren County Habitat for Humanity.  Half of the group will  volunteer as part of the construction project for a new home at the Durbin Estates Subdivision.  The other half will be volunteering at the Bowling Green/Warren County Habitat ReStore, a store and donation center.

The 2024 cohort had 35 participants selected representing 13 different countries and ethnicities and speaking 19 different languages collectively.  Participants immigrated from the following countries:  Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Dominican Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, El Salvador, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar (formerly Burma), Tanzania, Taiwan, Thailand, Somalia, and Venezuela.   In order to complete the program, participants had to commit to attending at least four of the five sessions hosted which began in February and met monthly through June.

The Academy for New Americans was developed by the City of Bowling Green as a leadership training program to empower New Americans to understand and participate in City government.  Its purpose is to provide the tools necessary to successfully navigate City services, community information and resources in order for participants to become key stakeholders in assisting their respective ethnic communities and neighborhoods.

The Academy for New Americans launched in 2016 and since its inception, it has created a ripple effect statewide.  The Kentucky League of Cities (KLC) selected the City of Bowling Green as a 2017 Enterprise Cities Award recipient for its Academy for New Americans.  The Enterprise Cities Award recognizes outstanding projects and programs in Kentucky cities.  The awards celebrate cities and allow KLC member cities of all sizes to be inspired by, learn from, and replicate successes happening in other Kentucky communities.   The Enterprise Cities Award program is sponsored by Collins & Company, Inc. The sponsor provides $1,000 for each winning program to help continue its success.  In addition, The City of Bowling Green partnered with Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government to assist in launching a similar effort through its Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Affairs, the Global Louisville Leadership Academy launched in February 2017. 

The Academy for New Americans was developed and is led by the International Communities Liaison Division in the Department of Neighborhood and Community Services.  For more information, contact Leyda Becker at (270) 393-3766, email at or visit:

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