New York, NY, December 29, 2021 – MCW Global held its second virtual Young Leaders Access Program between September 15th and December 16th. The virtual program brought together young leaders worldwide to develop the critical skills needed to become community leaders and global citizens. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the entire program was virtual via e-modules and online sessions with primary learning outcomes focusing on Modern Leadership, Self-Awareness, Global Citizenship and Vision Planning.  The program focused on cross-cultural communication and building networks where young leaders aged 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 gender equality, women empowerment, mental health, sustainability, education, financial literacy, and youth civic engagement. Later in the program, participants learned about the core aspects of Modern Leadership, which was focused on the different approaches, styles, and cultural understandings of leadership. Further, the Young Leaders Access Program covered Self-Awareness, Mental Health, and Global Citizenship components, which enhance participants’ self-development and support them in becoming global leaders. 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, mission, understanding and defining the problem, resource development, and time management.

The Young Leaders Access Program has been a wonderful experience in which I have had the opportunity to forge connections with other progressive changemakers around the world and discover previously unknown aspects of leadership. Living in Hawai’i and working in international development, I routinely have meetings in the middle of the night – and the MCW sessions are the meetings that make waking up at 03:30 enjoyable,” said Brendan Schultz, one of the 2021 mentees from Hawaii.

Exceptional speakers, guests, and MCW staff members led sessions on modern leadership, understanding gender, mental health, self-awareness, global citizenship, and activity design. Speakers included: Dr. Adam Gonzalez, Assistant Professor at Stony Brook University;  Anusha Somani, Program Associate, Africa Programs, and Transformation Coach; 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;  Dhurata Berisha, Program Coordinator, Young Leaders Access Program; Jonathan Hakakian, Managing Director, SoundBoard Venture Fund;  Norma Loeb and Liz Graydon-Gannon, Co-founders of What Better Looks Like;  Phoebe de Larrabeiti, Assistant Director, Global Citizens Circle;  Richard Magid, President, Soundboard Consulting Group, LLC;  Theo Dunfey, President & Executive Director, Global Citizens Circle.

In addition, 14 YLA alumni joined the program this year as speakers. Vision planning sessions were led by MCW’s YLP Program Director, Leon Gojani; Noor Imran, MCW Young Leaders Conference Coordinator; Inbar Fruschad Weil, User Experience Designer at WeAreDevelopers and YLA alumna;  .

The virtual program included 49 participants (two co-lead mentors, 14 mentors, and 33 mentees) from 32 countries, including Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Belarus, Bhutan, Cameroon, China, Colombia, Egypt, Ghana, Guyana, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Macedonia, Malawi, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Palestine, Peru, Philippines, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Spain, Syria, Tunisia, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States of America, and Zimbabwe.

Currently, participants are further developing their vision plans and getting ready to implement their community projects with the support of their mentors.

My MCW experience has truly been life-altering. I feel like I have been adopted into a new family. I have never been a part of any other program that made me feel loved, appreciated, and cared for. All of what I learned here, I am bubbling with excitement to share with my community and country.” said Lisa Hussain, a 2021 mentee from Guyana.

To view photos, visit MCW’s Facebook page.

Download PDF.