Alumni Update: YSEALI Summit with the President

From 19-23 Nov 2015, Malaysian Global UGRAD alum Choon Sian Choo (cohort 2010-2011) was invited to participate in The Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Summit which was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The YSEALI Summit was a 3.5­-day event that brought together 500 young leaders (ages 18-35) from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The goal of the summit was to connect young leaders with the tools, resources, mentorship and peer network that they need to build their capacity to create innovative solutions to real-world problems.

The highlight of the YSEALI Summit was a town hall session with U.S. President Barack Obama, who had just arrived in Kuala Lumpur to attend the ASEAN Summit. Being one of the delegates, Choon Sian had the golden opportunity to represent fellow YSEALI delegates at a meet-and-greet with the President before the town hall began. He spent a brief moment to tell President Obama about the Young Money Master Program that he runs to increase the financial literacy among youth in Malaysia.

When the town hall began, the President briefly and eloquently addressed the 500 young leaders. Subsequently, he spent a larger part of the town hall session answering burning questions from the emerging young leaders, be it regarding climate change, foreign policy, corruption issues, democracy, or the human rights issues embroiling ASEAN. During the town hall, Choon Sian was asked by President Obama to share his work and his YSEALI experience with the audience. The President departed the town hall after spending close to two hours conversing with the young ASEAN leaders.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *