The Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative, is a program launched in 2013 by U.S President Barack Obama, to promote young leaders ages 18 to 35 who are working to improve economic development, environmental protection, education and civic engagement in Southeast Asia. They come from the ten countries that make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN.
The Initiative aims to strengthen leadership development and networking in ASEAN, deepen engagement with young leaders on key regional and global challenges, and strengthen people-to-people ties between the U.S. and young Southeast Asian leaders. Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative programs include Fellows, Generation Workshops, and Seeds for the Future grants.
Fellows invite students, young professionals, and mid-career community organizers to the United States to deepen their knowledge about regional issues and share their experiences. Academic Fellows, is for students aged 18-25. Participants will take part in fellowships at various universities in the United States to deepen their knowledge about regional issues and to share their experiences and perspectives.
Professional Fellows, is for young professionals aged 25-35. Participants take part in a month-long fellowship at U.S.-based organizations to enhance practical expertise, leadership skills and professional contacts to address issues in their home communities.
Generation Workshops provide hands-on training and peer networking to give youth the necessary tools to take on leadership roles.
Approximately 65 percent of people in the ASEAN region are under the age of 35. The U.S. is proud to support the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative because it believes that young people are instrumental in plotting the course of Southeast Asia’s future.
Young Southeast Asian Leaders Seeds for the Future grant competition helps match entrepreneurial emerging leaders with their peers in Southeast Asia, and encourages them to work together to solve regional challenges in partnership with the U.S. To date, one third of the over 60 international teams that competed to receive funding are in the process of implementing their solutions.
If you are passionate about making a difference to the environment and community around you; if you are a citizen of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Burma, Philippines, Laos, Singapore, Thailand, or Vietnam; and if you are between 18-35 years of age, sign up to become a Young Southeast Asia Leaders Initiative member at: https://youngsoutheastasianleaders.state.gov