By Patreece Spence
Overflowing with opportunities to meet significant world leaders and interact with creative students from all over the globe, it is no wonder why any young person would jump at the opportunity to attend the annual International Young Leaders Assembly 10-day journey through Washington DC, Philadelphia and New York City.
Through this program, young leaders are empowered to lead positively, morally, and innovatively. These first-hand experiences help leaders build the critical global network necessary to discuss pressing issues plaguing countries and regions world-wide.
As if becoming an IYLA Global Ambassador wasn’t enough motivation to embark on this adventure, participants have the chance to visit renowned institutions such as the United Nations, World Bank, Capitol, State Department, Think Tanks, Organization of American States, various embassies and the National Constitution Center. Building lasting friendships and a strong network of relevant discussion, together these young leaders can positively impact the world.
Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon says, “Working with and for young people is one of my top priorities. Youth are a transformative force; they are creative, resourceful and enthusiastic agents of change. The time has come to integrate youth voices more meaningfully into decision-making processes at all levels.”
Beginning the exploration at the nation’s capital, participants in Washington, DC will visit some of the country’s most historic sites like the White House, Smithsonian Museums and many monuments and memorials. At the World Bank, young leaders will engage in global forums regarding international service and youth entrepreneurship. Moving to Capitol Hill, our promising young leaders will interact in a high level plenary in addition to visiting the Supreme Court and Library of Congress. Briefings and dialogues take place at the State Department, different embassies, and think tanks.
The journey continues north to the vibrant streets of Philadelphia, the “City of Brotherly Love” and the birthplace of our country. This city was where the first daily newspaper was printed and where the first American flag was designed and sewn by Betsy Ross. At the National Constitution Center, participants will have the chance to discuss the global significance of the US Declaration of Independence. Students will also visit Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell Center and Philadelphia Museum of Art.
The expedition concludes in the hustle and bustle of New York City. Between yellow taxis and glass skyscrapers, young delegates will engage in a high level plenary at the United Nations Headquarters. In this lively city, participants will visit the Statue of Liberty and have the opportunity to explore Wall Street and Times Square.
Inspired by the caliber, diversity and enthusiasm of the delegates year after year, many co-sponsoring institutions and agencies have supported this annual summer IYLA tour in the US.
So welcome aboard to IYLA 2015, which guarantees countless opportunities, engaging discussions, and interacting with a diverse group of the world’s most forward-thinking, motivated young leaders.