Remarks at Jajce High School Opening

Americans tend to take for granted the diversity we experience throughout our lives. From our first day of primary school, we attend classes with students of different races, nationalities, and religions.

As we watch each other play on the same playground and struggle with the same schoolwork, we learn that we are similar in so many ways. We learn that our differences are no barrier to becoming friends.

It is a pleasure to see the diversity of Bosnia and Herzegovina represented here in Jajce High School.

What is most inspiring is the voice you students found as you demanded to embrace your diversity. You have shown how youth of Bosnia and Herzegovina can lead divided communities towards mutual respect and reconciliation. You reminded us all that your success in the 21st century world will depend on your ability to understand people of different faiths, cultures, and experiences. And students of unified, diverse classrooms will be better prepared for success.

You made headlines and won an important battle, and you inspired us to step in to support you and your school.

Thanks to 374,000 BAM from the U.S. European Command, we are able to demonstrate that as a leading #NATO ally we support a brighter future for students of Jajce, beginning with a more energy efficient school, thanks to roof and window repairs and replacement.

Students, you have shown you are the foundation of a community that can unite and move towards a better future together. You are exactly whom we thought of when we launched our BOLD initiative – The BiH Omladinski Lideri program.

BOLD is a network of young leaders age 18-35 all across BiH who want to make a difference in their communities, like you have. BOLD is a program to strengthen your leadership skills and welcome you to a supportive community of other young leaders and mentors across Bosnia and Herzegovina who want to work for a positive future.

Learn more online at Sign up there to apply for leadership training workshops in BiH, for leadership fellowships in the United States, and for grant competitions.

Students, I hope you will welcome the U.S. Embassy’s offer to continue to support you in your efforts to improve your community.

Thank you.