MCW YOUNG LEADERS’ PROGRAM
It was a nice experience to be part of the MCW Global Program in New York University anD Champlain College, Burlington, Vermont from July 22 to August 4, 2018.
The Young Leaders’ Access Program brings together youth from all over the world, united by the goal of creating positive change in their communities. It is a one year program comprised of three components: YLA Retreat, Project Implementation, Alumni Support
The YLA launched with the Retreat in late July, held in New York, NY and Burlington, Vermont. It consists of three modules: Modern Leadership, Global Citizenship, and Local Change. During the final phase of the retreat, Young Leaders will create a unique action plan to address an issue in his/her community. Over the following year, Young Leaders implement their plans while being guided remotely through online workshops and a Mentor from the Young Leaders alumni community. Once Young Leaders have successfully completed the YLA they are eligible to apply for the Alumni Ventures Fund which awards grants of up to $5,000 USD with a year of professional mentorship.
I will be sharing with you some of the things I learnt from this enlightening program.
On the Modern Leadership aspect, I learnt what leadership entailed in the modern world and that leadership was not by position but in action. I also learnt different leadership styles and how to always improve on our leadership styles. We likewise got to understand effective communication strategies as a modern leader.
I really loved the global citizenship session. It made me to be conscious of the fact that I am a global citizen and I have responsibility towards my world. I also learnt that the environment is shared by everyone on earth. Every use of resources affects someone else because there is a finite amount of resources therefore as global citizen, one must understand that the use of one’s resources will affect others. We also had a cultural exchange where we got to understand one another’s culture. This made me appreciate cultural diversity.
On the vision planning. I learnt the clear cut difference between vision and mission. We were deeply immersed on how to write our vision and mission statement in implementing our projects for the year. This was quite wide as we got know more on and think deeply on identifying the root causes of the issue we wanted to solve in order to have more strategic and practical ways to solve them. We further learnt how to build a budget for our project. On this too, we got to understand the role of gender in the global community and gender consideration in implementing our projects. Other components of this were strategies for implementing our projects, identifying resources for our projects, obstacles when implementing our projects, stakeholders involved in implementing our projects, benchmarks and timelines for our projects, importance of social media in our works and monitoring and evaluation. All these components simplified the projects for us as we already saw what was ahead. One aspect that stood out for me was the Storytelling for impact which made me to further understand the importance of storytelling to amplify our voices and galvanize actions as change makers.
We also had different people present their projects and we all had to come up with strategic solutions in implementing their projects under the ”Hack-A-Thon Workshop which was really insightful for me. As young change makers, we had a session on ”What Does Your Better Look Like” whereby each one of us came up with what he or she would love the world to be look like in order to be a better world. We learnt how to pitch to investors as change makers.
Finally, my vision : A community where girls are able to fully explore their potentials and mission : To offer mentorship to young girls in order to maximize their potentials in their communities.