The Global Young Leaders Conference is a 10-day leadership journey provides an out-of-classroom learning experience and rigorous curriculum that equips students from across the United States and more than 145 countries with the confidence, independence, skills, and global competitiveness required of the next generation of future leaders. Since 1985, the Global Young Leaders Conference has helped motivated students to fully explore cultural differences, gain firsthand exposure to the challenges of international diplomacy, build confidence, and enhance decision-making skills in an atmosphere of mutual respect.
Over the July/August vacation, six Upper Six students enrolled in Envision’s Global Young Leaders Conference. Andrea Deosaran, Emma Harris and Havana Waithe attended the conference held in Europe, where they visited Vienna, Prague and Berlin. Isha Fernandez attended the conference held in China, where she visited Beijing, Hangzhou and Shanghai. Zahria Phillip and Gabrielle Hassranah attended the conference held in The United States of America, where they visited Washington, DC and New York City.
While the conferences were tailored according to their respective locations, the girls were immersed in new cultures as they interacted with other scholars who came from various parts of the world. The conference aimed to provide opportunities in which they were able to step out of their comfort zones, meet new people, explore new lands, broaden their perspectives on real world issues through stimulating debates and strengthen their 21st century leadership skills.
For those interested in attending this program, some common questions were answered based on the girls’ experience below:
How did you acquire finances to fund this trip?
Funding was definitely a trial for me as this trip proved to be very costly, however i acquired sponsorship through the use of sponsorship request letters that were sent to various business places. NLCB was particularly useful in funding generated towards this trip, as well as the aid of family and friends which were much appreciated.
What have you learned from your experience at GYLC?
Due to the activities and drastic lifestyle change from my ordinary life and GYLC living, I had to be self-sufficient and self-motivating- which are things that I had previously struggled with. Thus after two weeks of rigorous academic and personality “training” I’ve adopted new techniques in these areas.
I learned that China is a huge country with millions of resources but those resources are being controlled by the persons within authority and are also given to those of high statuses, leaving a good bit of China’s republic poor.
To me, GYLC was a building block towards my future as it reinforced my love for debating and ensured me that a career in International Relations was exactly what I wanted. It also allowed me to strengthen my leadership, critical thinking skills and time management. Most of all, it not only allowed me to experience new cultures, but due to the largely Caribbean demographic, I found a new found love and pride in my very own culture.
What was your most memorable moment at GYLC?
My most memorable moment isn’t a moment. The thing I will always remember about GYLC is the people I met there and how they’ve not only played a part in who I am now, but also in who I want to be in the future.
The most memorable thing was being able to climb a piece of the Great Wall of China and see it in real life and also the Bund which is a non-profit organisation.
The most memorable moment for me comprised of the entire trip as it will forever be burned within my memory. The entire experience was such a blessing, especially the people I met that I now consider some of my most treasured friends despite them being from Greece, Argentina, Mauritius, England and many other far off places. The sites where truly breathtaking as well as the shopping trips within what little time we had, but to single out a memory it would have to be the bonding session on our group bus (I was in the country group of Russia btw) on our five hour journey from DC to NYC.
Who would you recommend to enroll in this program?
I would recommend this program to someone who is open-minded and willing to experience new cultures and experiences. A level of maturity is needed as well as the capability to be independent as you will most likely be traveling abroad by yourself in the event that you don’t know anyone else that is going.