South East Asian Youth Leaders Program (SEAYLP)

South East Asian Youth Leaders Program (SEAYLP)


Secondary students from high schools located in Metro Manila are invited to apply for participation in the 2019 Southeast Asia Youth Leadership Program (SEAYLP) in Northern Illinois University, United States in April 2019. The 2019 SEAYLP convenes high school students and adult mentors from the ten Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries for a three-week U.S.-based exchange program focused on leadership and youth development. Five high school students, together with one adult mentor, will be selected to represent the Philippines in the 2019 SEAYLP.

The program explores shared challenges faced by the United States and ASEAN member countries as viewed through the three pillars of the ASEAN community: political and security cooperation, economic skills-building, and socio-cultural leadership through hands-on activities, workshops, seminars, and site visits to foster greater communication. Participants will develop projects to address the needs of their communities upon their return home. English language proficiency is a prerequisite as the program will be conducted entirely in English.

The program will emphasize ASEAN identity by organizing participants into multi-country teams to enhance their cross-cultural experience. Exchange activities in the United States will include workshops, interactive sessions, diplomacy simulations, leadership training, and team-building exercises. Extracurricular activities such as volunteer service opportunities and site visits with relevant organizations in host communities will round out the program. Adult participants will attend civic education sessions with U.S. adult peers designed to foster networking and leadership when they return home. All participants will have homestays with American families and side study tours to Chicago and Washington, D.C.

The program will be intensive, academic, and highly interactive. It seeks energetic applicants from all diversity and disability groups who are ready to develop their skills in order to be effective leaders in their schools and communities. Preference will be given to applicants who have limited financial resources to pursue a similar program and those who have limited exposure or travel to the United States and other foreign countries.

For selected participants from the Philippines, the U.S. government will cover program expenses, international travel, visa fees, pre-departure orientation activities, and domestic travel.


STUDENT applicants should:

  • Be currently enrolled as a student in any high school located in Metro Manila (The cities of Caloocan, Las Piñas, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Manila, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Parañaque, Pasay, Pasig, Quezon, San Juan, Taguig, and Valenzuela, and the municipality of Pateros),
  • Be at least 15 years old and not more than 17 years old by April 1, 2019,
  • Demonstrate leadership skills with strong potential for advanced leadership roles in the future,
  • Demonstrate commitment in civic action, strong academic and social skills, and interest in community service,
  • Have strong English communication skills,
  • Have permission from both parent(s)/guardian(s) and schools to participate in the entire program.

ADULT MENTOR applicants should:

  • Be a resident of Metro Manila and working with high school students as a teacher, mentor, coach, or counselor in an official or volunteer capacity for at least two years,
  • Be between the age of 20-30 years old by April 1, 2019,
  • Demonstrate strong leadership skills with high potential for advanced leadership roles in the future,
  • Demonstrate commitment in civic action, strong academic and social skills, and interest in community service,
  • Have strong English communication skills,
  • Be in good-standing and well-respected in his/her community,
  • Intend to continue working with youth in their careers,
  • Be committed to mentor and guide the selected students before, during, and after the 2019 SEAYLP program.


Please fill out the application form as completely as possible in English. The information provided on this application will be the basis in selecting the semi-finalists who will be asked to answer another set of questions.

There is no ‘save’ button in this form, so consider writing responses in a separate sheet first, then copy-pasting it to the online form. The last part of this application form asks for the name and contact details of a referee. A referee is a teacher / supervisor or other adult outside the applicant’s family who knows the applicant well and can discuss his or her abilities and potential. If an applicant is shortlisted for interview, the organizers will send an email to the referees to answer a brief online assessment on the applicant’s character, leadership abilities, and potential. If an applicant is not shortlisted, the referees will not be contacted.


  • November 6 – SEAYLP 2019 applications open
  • November 26 – SEAYLP 2019 applications close (11:59 pm)
  • December 5 – Shortlisted applicants (top 25 students and top 5 adult mentors) notified and invited for panel interviews
  • December 15 – Panel interviews in Makati
  • February 2019 – Finalists notified
  • March 2019 – Pre-departure orientation for finalists
  • April 2019 – SEAYLP program proper in the U.S.

For any inquiries, please contact:

Ryan Louie Madrid
Public Affairs Section
U.S. Embassy in the Philippines