Southeast Asian youth poised to shape the future

Participants in the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) at the White House. (State Dept.)

A recent White House event highlighted how young Southeast Asians are already shaping the future of their region. “Young people play a critical role in determining the world’s future, and it’s particularly true in Southeast Asia, where two out of every three people are under 35 years old,” said State Department special adviser Andy Rabens.

YSEALI fellows stand next to a bust of Abraham Lincoln at the White House. (State Dept.)

Rabens attended a June 1 White House event for 75 Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) fellows, where they shared insights with President Obama after their experience in the United States.

YSEALI fellows are rising leaders ages 18 to 35 from all 10 countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The fellows visited the U.S. for five weeks, developing skills and networks in entrepreneurship, education and civic engagement.

The YSEALI fellows “are actively using their collective voices for positive change, unlocking their human capital and tackling mutual challenges together in an effort to build a more interconnected and prosperous ASEAN region for the future,” Rabens said.

Learn more about YSEALI and join its 35,000-strong network of young leaders today.