Our communities are stronger when we affirm and value the cultures that we share. Blacks and Latinos are connected in powerful ways to our Africa heritage. Legacy scholars include young men of African descent who learn about and celebrate the connection through immersion in African culture. IYLI provides low and no cost opportunities to enable young leaders to participate without respect to family income. Legacy scholars receive scholarships for the summer heritage programs in Africa and Latin America. In return, they plan and carry out followup activities that educate and inform others, including dispelling negative and divisive stereotypes and misconceptions about Africa. Each heritage program has a curriculum that is based on leadership, community development, and an academic theme (science, government, health, environmental sustainability). Students also learn first-hand about international careers by meeting and interacting with professionals working overseas. They meet and interact with teenagers from the host country to foster mutual understanding and friendship. IYLI’s framework of history, culture, geography and environment provides a powerful tool for developing leadership and community advocacy , in a cross-cultural context.