ASEAN Youth Congregates for a Leadership Program

Photo of youth participants
The Malaysian Youth Ambassadors to SEAYLP L-R: Nur Akmal Sharizal, Wan Nur Sakinah Wan Abdullah Zubir, B Saktivel Naidu, Hariharan Sasikheeran, Karanmohan Singh Manmoham Singh, Ahmad Lutfi Amri Ramli and alumni Jason Wee. (US Embassy photo)

From April 3-23, the South East Asia Youth Leadership Program (SEAYLP) will bring together the ten ASEAN country members for the first time this year to participate in the program at the Northern Illinois University (NIU).  Student leaders Karanmohan Singh, Nur Akmal Sharizal and Wan Nur Sakinah from SMK Derma, Perlis, B Saktivel Naidu from Sultan Abdul Hamid College, Kedah, Hariharan Sasikheeran from SMK Seri Mahawangsa, Kedah, accompanied by their chaperone Dr. Ahmad Lutfi Amri from University of Sciences Malaysia (USM), will participate in the 3-week exchange program that will focus on shared challenges the United States and ASEAN face in the 21st century.

Photo ofyouth participants gathered around a table
Counselor for Public Affairs Bonnie Gutman congratulates and welcomes SEAYLP participants to the U.S. at the pre-departure briefing session. (US Embassy photo)

This program is designed to advance mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries, as well as to promote high-quality leadership, civic responsibility, and community engagement among our countries’ future leaders.  The program will employ a highly interactive approach both in workshops and in a range of public and community settings.  Through engagement with the activities of U.S. high schools, community organizations, youth groups, and community leaders in each location, the participants will better understand civic participation and the rights and responsibilities of citizens in a democracy.

Participants will have the opportunity to network with fellow peers from ASEAN as well as American youth to share common interests and exchange ideas on related issues. The program begins in Chicago and concludes in Washington, D.C., where the participants will meet and receive certificate of participation from officials at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.  Upon return, the participants will be expected to implement a follow-on activity they developed during the program in their respective school or community.