Queen Silvia of Sweden (in the middle) with guests at the gala at The Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, D.C.
H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden visited Washington, D.C., on Sept. 20, and spent the day at a series of events that support the mission of Mentor Foundation USA, the U.S. chapter of her international organization that focuses on preventing drug abuse and promoting health and well-being among children and youth.
THE DAY’S events culminated with a glittering fund-raising Gala reception and dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown. H.M. Queen Silvia and her daughter H.R.H. Princess Madeleine received guests in an elaborate VIP reception, and later everyone dined on miso-glazed sea bass with grilled scallion risotto. Attendees of the Gala included H.R.H. Prince Abdul-Aziz bin Talal bin Abdul-Aziz al Saud of Saudi Arabia and his wife H.H. Princess Sora Bint Saud Bin Sa’ad Al Saud. Additionally, several corporate executives from Sweden were in attendance, as was a significant representation from the ambassadors’ ranks in Washington. Mentor International Chairman Yvonne Thunell brought remarks at the dinner, and H.M. Queen Silvia delivered the keynote speech.
Congressman Ed Royce (Rep-Calif.) and wife Marie Therese
EARLIER IN the day, H.M. Queen Silvia visited Cesar Chavez Public Charter School for Public Policy in Northeast Washington. Mentor Foundation USA for the last year has had a School-Based Mentoring Program at the school that pairs representatives of the corporate world and the community with at-risk youth. H.M. Queen Silvia toured the school and met with the students in the mentoring program.
H.M. Queen Silvia also visited the construction site of the 11th Street Bridge Project in Southeast Washington. The project is being built by Skanska USA, which is a corporate partner of Mentor Foundation USA. While there, she met with a group of students from Washington’s Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School. The students have been involved in Mentor’s “Authentic Career Experience” program in which Skanska employees interact with the students. Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray also joined in the event.
THE MENTOR FOUNDATION USA mission is to prevent drug abuse and promote health and well-being among children and youth in the United States. Mentor USA offers programs that combine the best of international and U.S. prevention efforts. Mentor USA’s approach is to bring the business community together with schools and offer prevention initiatives to youth through different programs. The Mentor Foundation was founded in 1994 by H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden and the World Health Organization (WHO). Mentor Foundation has chapter organizations in Colombia, Germany, Sweden, Lithuania, U.K., U.S.A. and a Regional Chapter in Lebanon serving 22 Arab countries. For more information, visit www.mentorfoundation.org.
THE SCHOOL-BASED Mentoring Program is built around the belief that the best prevention strategies start with youth empowerment by creating optimism, motivation, self -confidence and positive development for young people. To help close the skill gap that encompasses many of the youth in the District of Columbia, Mentor USA has developed mentoring programs that connect corporations with schools. The pilot program involves 15 students (ages 14-16) and mentors from a variety of professions including: D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, M&T Bank, small entrepreneurial firms and many others.