THE United States 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 Filipino 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, [as well as] 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, as well as network with other young leaders in the country.
They will also receive grant support for their respective advocacies and full scholarships to 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,” said Sam Chittick, country representative of The Asia Foundation in the Philippines. “[In partnership with USAID and with several organizations, institutions and experts, we] are working together to support and strengthen the capacity of these 30 LEAD fellows for civic participation and democratic governance.”
Over 300 youth leaders applied for the LEAD Fellowship. Candidates underwent a rigorous selection process, which included submitting project proposals and completing a panel interview.
Chosen candidates hail from various regions across the country. They 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.