OMAHA – A State Department grant will allow 21 students from Southeast Asia to study at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO), explore western Nebraska, and visit both the East and West Coasts.
This is the second year that UNO has participated in the five-week Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) program. The YSEALI participants arrived at UNO on Monday, Sept. 26.
The group represents all 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (also known as Burma), Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
The mission of the intensive, short-term academic program is to provide participants with civic engagement, leadership and collaboration skills; cultivate an understanding of American culture, values, and institutions; establish ties with institutions throughout Southeast Asia; and foster relations between the U.S. and Southeast Asian nations.
“These are truly the best and the brightest young leaders from ASEAN countries" said Patrick McNamara, Ph.D., principal administrator for the three-year YSEALI grant. "We learn as much from them as they do from us. They inspire the UNO students and Omaha community leaders they meet to be even more committed to civic engagement. By building bridges between young people in Southeast Asia and young people in America, we are doing a small part to make the world more peaceful. This has been an honor, and lots of fun, for our whole team.”
In addition to studying at UNO, students will visit Scottsbluff and Gering, Nebraska; Mount Rushmore; Portland; and Washington, D.C. over the five weeks.
Launched in 2013, YSEALI is President Barack Obama’s signature program to strengthen leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia. YSEALI focuses on critical topics identified by youth in the region: civic engagement; environment and natural resources management; and entrepreneurship and economic development.
UNO will welcome another group of YSEALI academic fellows in the spring of 2017.
For media requests, please contact:
Sam Petto, UNO Media Relations Coordinator
Charley Reed, UNO Associate Director of Media Relations
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