ASIATODAY.ID, BALI – The United States Department of State and 150 Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) alumni kicked off the “YSEALI Summit 2023: A Decade of Impact” in Bali to celebrate Indonesia’s chairmanship of ASEAN and YSEALI’s 10th anniversary .
The US mission to Indonesia hosted young leaders from ASEAN member countries and Timor Leste from December 3-8 for workshops, field visits and skills-building training, which is part of the US commitment to developing young leaders and deepening relations between the United States and ASEAN.
US Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Elizabeth M. Allen, in her opening speech, welcomed the delegates and outlined the US vision for the future of YSEALI.
“Your voices and actions are very important for our shared vision for a free, open and prosperous Indo Pacific region,” said Deputy Minister Allen, quoted from a broadcast by the US embassy in Jakarta, Tuesday, December 5 2023.
“The United States’ investment in your success is reflected in our commitment to educational and cultural exchange, including the fact that last year, we committed to doubling the YSEALI program and will expand YSEALI scholarships starting in 2025. We can’t wait to welcome more than 900 young people from region every year to participate in the YSEALI exchange program in the United States,” he explained.
This conference brings together alumni to take part in a series of interactive information sessions, master classes, group exercises, project-based learning experiences, network and community dialogues, field trips, and cultural activities.
Delegates discussed impactful leadership, the use of social media, the potential of artificial intelligence as a means for the common public good, taking action through private-public partnerships, and the intersection of community and political action.
Up to 50 conference attendees will receive awards worth up to $700 to support their professional development as leaders, and 20 YSEALI project teams will receive seed funding of $5,000 to implement initiatives to create positive change in their communities and beyond.
Founded in 2013, YSEALI is the US government’s flagship program to provide skills training for young people in Southeast Asia.
YSEALI focuses training on four key issues – Community Engagement, Economic Empowerment, and Social Entrepreneurship, Education, and Environmental Issues – and equips the next generation of leaders to create impactful change in their communities and beyond.
Since 2013, YSEALI’s digital network has grown to include nearly 160,000 young changemakers. The network’s six thousand members are also direct members of YSEALI exchange programs, regional workshops, YSEALI academies, and the YSEALI Seeds for future grant competition.
YSEALI members represent the breadth and diversity of ASEAN, and they are the embodiment of YSEALI’s motto: “Never too young to lead.” (AT Network)
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