Manila, May 28, 2021 — The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) welcomed 30 young Filipino leaders into the first-ever Youth Leadership for Democracy (YouthLed) 2021 Leadership and Democracy (LEAD) fellowship. Created by USAID and The Asia Foundation, the LEAD fellowship trains youth to become champions of democratic values, participatory governance, and civic engagement.
“With the help of issue experts, partner organizations, and mentors, the 30 LEAD Fellows will gain access to high-quality training and mentoring, grant support for their project ideas, and unmatched networking opportunities,” said USAID Philippines Office of Economic Growth and Democratic Governance Director Jeff Goebel.
For two years, LEAD fellows will participate in development training, grow in their roles as youth leaders, receive mentoring from the Makati Business Club and Philippine Business for Social Progress, and network with other young leaders in the Philippines. Fellows will also receive grant support for their respective advocacies and full scholarships to prestigious programs such as the Asian Institute of Management’s Future Bridging Leadership Program, Ateneo School of Government Executive Education Courses, and Ayala Foundation Inc.’s Servant Leadership Program.
“The LEAD Fellowship was developed to support young Filipinos in creating a positive impact in their communities. The Asia Foundation, in partnership with USAID, along with several organizations, institutions, and experts are working together to support and strengthen the capacity of these 30 LEAD Fellows for civic participation and democratic governance,” said Sam Chittick, Country Representative of The Asia Foundation in the Philippines.
Over 300 youth leaders applied for the LEAD fellowship. Candidates underwent a rigorous selection process that included submitting project proposals and completing a panel interview. The chosen candidates hail from regions across the Philippines, and include a health frontliner who is an advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities; a single mother who is an accomplished social entrepreneur; and a talented young officer in the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
For more details about the LEAD Fellowship, visit www.youthled.org.ph.