Belinda Lee ’16 ’20 made her mark on the world as a U.S. State Department youth ambassador at the World Expo in Dubai.
Lee lived and work in Dubai throughout the six-month run of the expo introducing U.S. pavilion visitors to the diverse and rich culture of the United States.
“Each day I meet so many people visiting from all parts of the world,” Lee said during the Expo. “The conversations I have with guests make the day fly by. I appreciate that I get to share what the U.S. is like to visitors.”
Lee was one of 75 youth ambassadors representing 46 states and U.S. territories at the expo from Oct. 1 to March 31.
Lee and the rest of the youth ambassadors engaged pavilion visitors on American values, innovation, history and culture. The pavilion’s theme was “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of the Future” and it highlighted the history of U.S. invention up to today’s innovators and companies.
Visitors included a few alumni, students and staff members from St. Cloud State. Lee and her fellow ambassadors built connections with visitors from across the world, while also sharing their unique culture and background. As a Hmong woman from Minnesota, Lee said she sometimes received questions from visitors who have a specific worldview of the United States. She was able to share with them her Hmong history and heritage and help widen their understanding of the American people.
“I educate and inform visitors about the diverse communities that the U.S. has and broaden their view of where I come from,” she said. “My role as a youth ambassador representing a diverse community is an important role to be in, especially on a global level at the World Expo.”
Lee credits her experiences studying abroad at St. Cloud State as she majored in Travel and Tourism and later completed her master’s degree in College Counseling and Student Development while working in the Center for International Studies, with preparing her for the role of youth ambassador.