U.S. Olympic Committee’s Alicia McConnell to serve as mentor for U.S. Department of State’s Global Sports Mentoring Program


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic Committee today announced that Alicia McConnell, Director of Training Sites and Community Partnerships, will serve as a mentor to Deniz Cengiz from Turkey for the U.S. Department of State Global Sports Mentoring Program. Now in its third year, this program supports the United States global commitment toward advancing the rights and participation of women and girls around the world, using sports as a vehicle towards greater opportunity and inclusion.

The USOC is proud to play an important role in engaging, inspiring, and empowering a new generation of female leaders around the world. Cengiz was selected to participate in this program based on her leadership in the role of development officer for disadvantaged youth and persons with disabilities with the Turkish Football Federation. For three weeks, McConnell will mentor Cengiz, providing her with valuable skills, experience, and access to networks that can lead to future opportunities back in her home community. McConnell will also help to construct a strategic action plan with Cengiz, in an effort to create additional sports opportunities for underserved women and girls in Turkey.

The mentoring program is a central component of the Department’s broader Empowering Women and Girls through Sports Initiative, which aims to increase the number of women and girls worldwide who are involved in sports. Through sports, women and girls learn about peaceful competition, hard work, leadership, and teamwork – all attributes that equip them to help create stronger, more productive, and stable communities.

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs promotes mutual understanding between Americans and people from around the world through a wide range of academic, cultural, private sector, professional and sports exchange programs. These international exchanges engage youth, students, educators, artists, athletes and emerging leaders from the United States and nearly 170 countries. Alumni of these exchanges comprise over one million people around the world, including more than 50 Nobel Laureates and more than 350 current or former heads of state and government.

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