July 27, 2019 – The United States Embassy in the Philippines and Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations Awards (TAYO) Foundation, Inc. gathered young leaders in Hotel Kimberly, Manila for the 2019 Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Manila Student Leaders Summit.
Attended by close to 150 participants, the Summit was the culmination activity of the YSEALI Manila Program to develop leadership skills of Manila student leaders and engage them in its network of youth leaders in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.
YSEALI is the flagship program of the U.S. government to strengthen youth leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia. It offers U.S. fellowships, regional workshops, small grants, e-learning and other platforms for engagement for Southeast Asian youth between the age of 18-35.
Hosted by the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines and TAYO Awards Foundation, the Summit also featured recognized youth leaders in a series of panel discussions to share best practices in project management and international exchange opportunities for emerging leaders.
YSEALI Manila Program
YSEALI Manila Program is a one-year leadership development program designed to strengthen the technical leadership and management skills of participants and to enhance the design and implementation of school-based, student-centered projects and initiatives. This program hosted key universities along the University Belt, sparking collaborations among student leaders and organizations.
John Gabriel Cabia-an, one of the participants of the program from Philippine Normal University presented their output project, Artvocacy. Their project aims to exhibit the promotion of various advocacies through creativity and innovation in the form of moduzine (module + magazine). They are currently in the works of crafting their first issue that talks about harassment.
Other participants from different universities were also recognized during the event such as Adamson University, College of St. Benilde, De La Salle University, Emilio Aguinaldo College, Far Eastern University, Philippine Normal University, Philippine Women’s University, San Beda University, St. Paul University Manila, and the University of Santo Tomas, among others.
Several projects and partnerships are now forged among students and alumni through the program.
International Studies and Exchange
The Summit also celebrated the Filipino-American Friendship Month and discussed the exchanges and programs that are strengthening the engagement between both countries. Alumni of US-PH exchange programs like Fulbright alumna Atty. Maria E.J. Pia Benosa, Youth Exchange and Study alumna Maria Anna Espinosa, Global Undergraduate Exchange Program alumnus Diego Imao, and YSEALI Professional Fellow Janine Chiong shared their experiences in applying and participating in their programs in the United States.
Ms. Grace Williams from the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines welcomed the participants, saying how the Filipino youth leaders have inspired her do more and be a change-maker in her own field of influence, especially when she gets back in her hometown in Chicago, Illinois.