2023 Young Leaders Fellowship Successfully Completed – News Release


July 21, 2023, New York, NY – MCW Global held its 26th Young Leaders Fellowship from July 11th through the 20th. The program brought together young leaders worldwide to develop the critical skills needed to become community leaders and global citizens working on issues in education, health and economic security. For the first time since 2019, the entire program was back in person at NYU’s School of Professional Studies and at Champlain College in Vermont. The primary learning outcomes focused 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, oral health, and youth civic engagement. Later in the program, participants learned about the core aspects of Resilient Leadership, which was focused on the different approaches, styles, and cultural understandings of leadership. Further, the Fellowship 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. 

“There was so much to take from the discussions that writing notes actually felt like a distraction. There was so much to take in. I’m super grateful for this program,” said MacDonald Nyahoja, one of the 2023 mentees from Zimbabwe.

Exceptional speakers, guests, and MCW staff members led sessions on modern leadership, understanding gender, resilient leadership, mental health, self-awareness, global citizenship, and activity design. Speakers included: Dr. Charles Robbins, MCW Board Member, and Professor, Stony Brook University; Norma Loeb and Liz Graydon-Gannon, Co-founders of “What Better Looks Like”; Richard Magid, President, Soundboard Consulting Group, LLC; Cara Power, Coach, Consultant and Trainer; Tito Jackson, CEO, Apex Noire; Martin Ihrig, Associate Dean & Clinical Professor, New York University (NYU); Susan Hall, Coach, Author “Decide Happy”; Elizabeth Moyo, MC-Zambia Board Member; Eddie Bergman, Co-founder & President, MCW Board of Directors; CEO, Proxima Hospitality Group; Dhurata Berisha, Coordinator, Young Leaders Fellowship; Leon Gojani, Program Associate Director, Young Leaders Program.

The program included 37 participants (two co-lead mentors, 10 mentors, and 25 mentees) from 30 countries, including Albania, Algeria, Bangladesh, Botswana, Canada, Egypt, Ethiopia, Greece, India, Kashmir, Kenya, Kosovo, Morocco, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Singapore, Tanzania, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Vietnam, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

“We started this journey as unique individuals, with unique dreams and aspirations, and I am proud to say that we now stand as a unit force, bound by a shared vision for communities around the world to become better, safer and healthier,” said Dhurata Berisha, Young Leaders Fellowship Coordinator.

The in-person segment of the Fellowship was concluded at our Open Doors event held at NYU SPS where friends and guests of MCW gathered to celebrate the mentees and learn about their next steps as they return to their countries. This year’s recipient of the Roberta Richin Memorial Vision Plan award was Ibrrahim Bello from Nigeria. In second and third place were Aidea  Downie from the United States of America and Hildah Nkonde from Zambia respectively. All three mentees’ projects are in the area of health. Currently, participants have returned to their respective countries in order to further develop their vision plans and get ready to implement their community projects with the year-long remote support of their mentors.

“We got to know each other and we got to know the organization. And we got to know ourselves. Liz and Norma helped us to connect with our core, and Tito taught us to model resilient leadership. I feel like the following days we will get to know ourselves more,” said John Roel Gonzaga, a 2023 mentee from the Philippines.

Thank you to our sponsors: Folino’s Pizza, New York University, Trader Joe’s, PF Chang’s, BJ’s Wholesale Club, and Staples.

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