MCW Global Holds 22nd Young Leaders Access Program


NEW YORK, NY, Aug 7, 2019 – MCW Global held its 22nd annual Young Leaders Access Program between July 23rd and August 1st, bringing together young leaders from around the world to participate in the retreat held at Champlain College, Burlington, Vermont and New York University, New York City. The program concentrated on supporting young leaders between the ages of 18-26 gain the skills needed to address issues facing their communities.

Participants entered the program with the intent to make change in their communities in areas such as mental health, environmental education, gender equality, and youth civic engagement. During the program, facilitators, MCW team members, and mentors supported participants to develop their ideas through vision planning, a project management method that incorporates topics including strategy, vision and mission, understanding and defining the problem, resource development, time management, and elevator pitching.

“Through the last two weeks, I had the opportunity to grow not only on a professional level but also on a personal level. Through MCW’s Young Leaders Access Program, I have been introduced to different strategies, skills, knowledge, and mentorship to develop my mission and vision for my project,” said Toema Mohamed, a participant from Egypt.

Exceptional speakers provided sessions on topics related to building trust, compassion, dignity, gender, and mental health among others. Speakers at the program included: Norma Loeb and Liz Graydon-Gannon, Co-founders of What Better Looks Like; Inbar Fruchsad Weil, user experience designer at WeAreDevelopers; Richard Magid of Soundboard Consulting; Cynthia Guyer of Global Dignity; Dr. Charles Robbins, MCW Board Member and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Dean of the Undergraduate Colleges at Stony Brook University; Dr. Adam Gonzalez, Assistant Professor at Stony Brook University; Eddie Bergman, MCW Co-founder and Board President; and Chap-Long Lau, software engineer and MCW YLA alumnus. Vision planning sessions were led by MCW’s Director of Africa Programs, Regina Leichner; Leon Gojani, MCW YLA alumnus and project and fundraising manager at TOKA, Kosovo; and Niyta Ramanathan, program manager at NYC Department of Small Business Services.

The twenty-seven participants, fourteen mentors, and two co-lead mentors came from 30 countries, including Albania, Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, Egypt, Fiji, Ghana, Guyana, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iraqi Kurdistan, Ivory Coast, Kashmir, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Philippines, Palestinian Territories, Paraguay, Panama, Peru, Serbia, Tanzania, Tunisia, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe.
Bakhshin Fatih, a participant from Iraqi Kurdistan said, “Everything became super achievable with what MCW provided us to tackle problems and I think it gave us a template to use for any project throughout our lives”.

The retreat concluded with the annual Open Doors Ceremony at the Edwin Gould Foundation on August 1st. The event featured concluding remarks by Dr. Charles Robbins, MCW Board Member; Eddie Bergman, MCW Co-founder and Board President; Regina Leichner, MCW’s Director of Africa Programs; and Khalid Elachi, MCW’s Executive Director.

“The Young Leaders Access Program continues to provide young leaders from around the world the space to develop as global citizens while creating actionable plans to affect change in their communities,” said MCW’s Executive Director, Khalid Elachi.

The 2019 Roberta Richin Memorial Vision Plan Award, now in its third year was awarded to Nam Nguyen from Vietnam by Roberta’s sister, Laurette Richin. Nam plans to use the $500 grant to develop a digital application that will connect customers to LGBTQ+ -friendly establishments/restaurants, promoting their ensured safety in public spaces.

MCW received in-kind donations from a variety of New York and Vermont-based sponsors, including Ben & Jerry’s, Bantam Bagels, Ben’s Deli, NYU School of Professional Studies, Fairway Market, Black Seed Bagels, Ess-a-Bagel, City Market Onion River Co-op as well as the Edwin Gould Foundation.

Photos from the event can be viewed on Facebook.

Download PDF