NEW YORK, NY, October 22, 2020 – MCW Global held its first virtual Young Leaders Access Program between July 6th and September 16th. The virtual program brought together young leaders from around the world to develop the critical skills needed to become community leaders and global citizens. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the first part of the program took place virtually via e-modules and online learning with two primary learning outcomes: Modern Leadership and Vision Planning. The program concentrated on cross-cultural communication and building networks where young leaders between the ages of 18-26 from diverse countries can collaborate on projects together. -Guest speakers and experts led sessions during the virtual program to share their knowledge with participants, providing additional skills and expertise.

Participants kicked off the program by getting to know one another. Young leaders shared their aspirations for improving their communities in topics including gender equality, mental health, environmental education, financial literacy, and youth civic engagement. Later in the program, participants learned about the core aspects of leadership; the “Modern Leadership” session focused on the different approaches, styles, and cultural understandings of leadership. During the program, facilitators, MCW team members, and mentors supported participants to develop their ideas through vision planning, a project management method that incorporates strategy, vision and mission, understanding and defining the problem, resource development, and time management.

A big thank you to MCW staff for organizing the virtual Young Leaders Access Program this year. It has been [an] enlightening journey,” said Timothy Tung, a mentor from Hong Kong.

Exceptional speakers led sessions on modern leadership, understanding gender, mental health, and activity design, among others. Speakers included: Norma Loeb and Liz Graydon-Gannon, Co-founders of What Better Looks Like; Felipe Gárate Sepúlveda, Community Leader from Chile; Khalid Elachi, MCW’s Executive Director and Regina Leichner, MCW’s Director of Africa Programs; Dr. Adam Gonzalez, Assistant Professor at Stony Brook University; Arslan Larik, Founder of AL&CO; Greta Rossi, Co-founder of Recipe for Wellbeing; Dr. Charles Robbins, MCW Board Member and Vice Provost Undergraduate Education and Student Success/Dean of the Undergraduate Colleges, Executive Director, Center for Changing Systems of Power Stony Brook University; and Rachel Morgan, Program Manager at the Atlantic Council for International Cooperation. In addition, six YLA alumni joined the program this year as speakers: Hannen Bader, Peal Dip, Cody Jacobs, Hennie Kongsøre,  Gamuchirai Mazingi, and Quốc Anh Trần.

Vision planning sessions were led by MCW’s YLA Program Manager, Leon Gojani; Noor Imran, MCW YLA Lead Mentor; Inbar Fruschad Weil, User Experience Designer at WeAreDevelopers and YLA alumna; and Nitya Ramanathan, Program Manager at NYC Department of Small Business Services.

The virtual program included 52 participants (three co-lead mentors, 15 mentors, and 34 mentees) from 38 countries, including: Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Bhutan, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Egypt, Germany, Ghana, Guyana, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Malaysia, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tunisia, United Kingdom, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe.

Currently, participants are implementing vision plans in their communities with the support of their mentors. The Young Leaders Access Program will resume in early 2021 with its second half covering Global Citizenship and Self-Awareness components, which are meant to enhance participants’ self-development and support them in becoming global leaders.

The Young Leaders Access Program is a unique opportunity for developing young leaders globally. It is a type of community that is safe, empowering, and supportive. As a program alumnus, YLA helped me look at my local community issue from a global perspective – and that’s critical to building global leaders in today’s world. This year, the biggest challenge was transforming the program to virtual, and I am very proud and grateful of the team and partners who helped us put the program together.” said MCW’s Young Leaders Program Manager, Leon Gojani.

To view photos, visit MCW’s Facebook page.

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