Ambassador Kim and NYC Chairman Enriquez Lead YSEALI’s 6th Anniversary Celebration

U.S. Ambassador Kim, NYC Chairman Ryan Enriquez and Far Eastern University Vice President Mary Rose Imperial recognize outstanding Metro Manila youth organizations during YSEALI IgniteMNL Youth Summit.

Youth Panel comprised of NYC Commissioner Paul Pangilinan, World Youth Alliance President Lord Pomperada, U.N. Nutrition Ambassador Cherrie Atilano, Asian Consulting Group President Mon Abrea, and Asian Consulting Group Vice President James Reid share their stories as youth leaders and how they sustain their advocacies.

Manila, December 18, 2019 — U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim and National Youth Commission (NYC) Chairman Ryan Enriquez joined more than 800 Metro Manila youth leaders at the IgniteMNL Youth Summit 2019 on Saturday, December 14, at Far Eastern University to celebrate the 6th anniversary of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI).

While at the summit, the youth leaders participated discussed how youth can lead initiatives to positively transform their communities.  Outstanding youth-led community projects were also recognized during the program, and youth-oriented organizations set up booths to promote opportunities for professional and leadership development.

U.S. Ambassador Kim, NYC Chairman Ryan Enriquez and Far Eastern University Vice President Mary Rose Imperial recognize outstanding Metro Manila youth organizations during YSEALI IgniteMNL Youth Summit.

Addressing the audience, U.S. Ambassador Kim shared that the U.S. government created YSEALI on the premise that young leaders are best positioned to address national, regional, and global challenges.  “You, the nation’s emerging leaders, are the most critical ingredient for this country’s future success,” he said.  “YSEALI is one great platform for change makers like you [the youth] who will be our country’s backbone for the next generation,” added Chairman Enriquez.

Other speakers at the summit include actor and entrepreneur James Reid, and YSEALI exchange alumni such as TAYO Awards Foundation Executive Director Patricia Matute, tax expert Raymond Abrea, and United Nations Nutrition Ambassador Cherrie Atilano.

IgniteMNL is part of YSEALI YOUnified, an annual YSEALI anniversary celebration in which youth leaders from all over Southeast Asia conduct community engagement activities.  In the Philippines, YSEALI members conducted more than 35 community engagement activities ranging from providing psychosocial therapy to people affected by recent earthquakes in North Cotabato, to promoting proper waste management in Cagayan de Oro.

Launched in 2013, YSEALI is the U.S. government’s signature program to strengthen leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia.  Through a variety of programs and engagements, including U.S. educational and cultural exchanges, regional exchanges and seed funding, YSEALI seeks to build the leadership capabilities of youth in the region, strengthen ties between the United States and Southeast Asia, and nurture an ASEAN community.   Since its launch, the network has grown to 28,000 alumni in the Philippines, and more than 150,000 in 11 Southeast Asian countries.

YSEALI programs are open to youth aged 18 to 35 years old. For more information, please visit http://yseali.state.gov.