Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Southeast Asian youth join new US initiative

By Michael T. Esmino
Managing Editor

At least 150 persons converged on a Makati City events place for the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Networking Night on Oct. 1, sponsored by the United States Embassy in the Philippines.

The youth initiative is a White House program designed to promote leadership skills, stimulate (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) ASEAN networking, and deepen engagement on key regional and global challenges. 

The Oct. 1 event, also organized by the US embassy, was meant to introduce the new initiative to the Filipino youth and to encourage them to become a member.

ChargĂ© d'Affaires, a.i. Brian L. Goldbeck welcomed the guests and opened the event with an overview of YSEALI. 

An YSEALI member, John Tobit Cruz shared his experience as the project head of the YSEALI-funded project “Streams of Hope,” a joint river rehabilitation project between the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Later on, several guests joined a “Pitch Slam,” where they practiced giving a one-minute pitch of an idea within the four pillars of YSEALI: Economic Development, Education, Civic Engagement, and Environmental Protection. 

Guests also enjoyed free prints of their pictures from tweets and Instagram posts with the #YSEALI hashtag.

Organizers have lined up several activities for YSEALI members, including the Generation Workshops aimed at developing a regional network of youth in ASEAN countries to collaborate on solving common challenges and creating new opportunities; YSEALI Youth Summits where cross-regional teams present proposals to tackle economic, environmental, education and civic engagement challenges to leaders in business, government, and civil society and share their perspectives on regional issues; and the YSEALI Seeds for the Future grants competition, which provides funding for many of these teams to implement their ideas.

Also, YSEALI Talks allow young leaders to share their ideas, initiatives, and innovations while YSEALI Connects expands opportunities for those in Southeast Asia to participate in new US State Department-organized exchange programs in the United States. 


YSEALI Online virtually connects young leaders across the region and offers an array of resources, networking opportunities, and trainings.

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