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Over the past several years, the social consciousness, civic engagement, and entrepreneurial spirit of young people have increased dramatically as Millennials and Gen Z take over and lead many cause movements around the world – from gender equality to climate change.

It is not a surprise then that we are seeing a greater number of programs and initiatives to help develop youth’s capacity to take on these challenges and direct their energy and passion towards creating innovative solutions to global problems.

At the Friendship Ambassadors Foundation, we are proud to have engaged over 20,000 youth from 160 countries around the world through our flagship program, The Youth Assembly, since 2004. Through this platform, we have discovered and learned from our youth delegates the kind of opportunities they wish to have in order to help them succeed in their endeavors.

If you are a young leader seeking what is needed to help you further your goals, here are some ideas you can explore:

Connect with experts
There is nothing more valuable than building key relationships that could be instrumental to your growth as a young leader. Finding these connections may be intimidating or complicated, but if you find yourself meeting the right people at the right place, initiating a conversation with them can be a transformative opportunity.

“You may not realize it, but at The Youth Assembly, you are one handshake, one conversation, one business card away from living the life you have envisioned for yourself and the people around you.” – Rebakaone Bowe

Our youth delegates have benefited from participating in our Global Development Leadership Series (GDL Series), where they can engage in a dialogue with high-level officials or staff from major world-changing organizations and get a glimpse of their daily work. This February, our GDL Series takes our youth delegates through the iconic meeting chambers of the UN headquarters to the halls of Permanent Missions to the UN, where vital world decisions have taken place. Youth delegates will be able to meet diplomats and other professionals working in international affairs and discuss issues of global significance. Previous visits have brought our youth delegates into the World Bank, UNA USA, US Institute for Peace, International Finance Corporation, and many others.

Exchange with your peers
By simply talking with someone who may be coming from a different background or experience, you can gain more perspective and understanding on issues you care about. Sharing knowledge and skills or even collaborating with your fellow young leaders can be an inspiring and meaningful exercise to help you achieve your goals.

“As a delegate, I was honored to experience the power of meeting other dynamic young leaders to share my potential projects and to learn theirs. It is a unique feeling to physically meet people from around the world who have a vision and an unquenchable desire for change! Wow, what an experience indeed!” – Edward Kuisseu Tatchim

As part of the GDL Series, our youth delegates partake in hands-on discussions and activities in small groups, which allows for further, in-depth, and more personal interaction and learning. One of the highlights of the GDL Series this past August was a UN Security Council simulation run and informed by Council on Foreign Relations, as well as working groups to explore topics on international affairs, global economy, and human development. Through these settings, delegates have discovered the advantage of learning with and from their peers.

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