Naperville City Councilman Ian Holzhauer to travel to India for State Department-sponsored exchange

Naperville City Councilman Ian Holzhauer
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Naperville City Councilman Ian Holzhauer will travel to India from Oct. 25 to Nov. 7 with six other delegates from around the United States on a State Department-sponsored trip.

The 13-day trip is organized by the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL), which chooses elected officials 41 and under to go on an exchange trip to a foreign country. The program is fully funded by the ACYPL, and sponsored by the U.S. State Department.

From Naperville to India

Before heading to India, Holzhauer and the delegates will gather in Washington D.C. next week to get briefed by the U.S. State Department and Indian Embassy.

During the trip, the group will spend time in the capital, Delhi, Bhubaneswar, and the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur. They will meet with members of the Indian parliament, government ministers, and regional officials.

“It’s really an opportunity to get some insight into what they’re thinking, what their challenges are, what their goals are,” said Holzhauer. “Also for them to get an insight into what our political leaders in the United States are thinking about, what the next generation of the leaders in the United States is thinking about.”

Holzhauer meets with Naperville high school students

In an effort to represent Naperville’s South Asian community of over 10,000 residents, Holzhauer organized meetings with students at Waubonsie Valley High School and Neuqua Valley High School earlier this month.

“(A student) didn’t think people in India realize that we have celebrations like India Day in Naperville, that the Indian-Americans are really proud of where they came from. (The students) want people over there to know that their culture is a really big part of the Naperville community.”

The opportunity of a lifetime

Holzhauer learned about this opportunity from the ACYPL at his 15th-year Georgetown Law School reunion last year. One of Holzhauer’s former classmates told him about the trip and nominated the Naperville councilman.

The ACYPL offers exchanges to 30 different countries around the world, and Holzhauer was chosen to go to India. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Sen. Dick Durbin are among several U.S. politicians who have attended ACYPL international trips.

As the first Naperville representative to take part in an ACYPL exchange, Holzhauer is excited to be an international ambassador for the city.

“I don’t take this lightly,” said Holzhauer. “I understand that hundreds of people applied for this, and seven of us get to go. I have read everything I can about India. I am watching YouTube videos about India. I am talking to people who grew up there and trying to bring back for Naperville as much as I can and share as much as I can.

Holzhauer plans to post updates and photos from India on his Facebook and X accounts throughout the trip.

Photo courtesy: City of Naperville

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