The 2014 American Youth Leadership Program with Singapore and Malaysia is a virtual and international exchange experience supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The goal of this American Youth Leadership Program is to expose high school students and educators to U.S. - Singapore and U.S. - Malaysia relations through the lens of the effect of sustainable development on urban planning.
The program aims to develop a corps of individuals (both high school students and educators) who are exposed to the people and culture of Singapore and Malaysia and trained to pass on their knowledge to others in their schools and communities. This will be done in the form of developing and implementing activities which address a ‘sustainable development’ approach to ecology and urban development; practical exercises which introduce the culture and people of Singapore and Malaysia; and, designing and implementing educational and community service projects which apply the lessons learned in these countries to participants' schools and local communities across the United States.
We hope that the lessons learned in this program will inspire student participants to consider future careers in science, sustainable development or international studies. These careers are global in scope, and all require practitioners to develop a global perspective
The program will have three distinct periods:
Virtual collaboration that helps participants learn to work together on projects, and which provides an opportunity to become oriented to Singapore and Malaysia, sustainable development practices and project management and implementation (February - June, 2014)
A pre-departure orientation that prepares participants for a three-week experience in Singapore and Malaysia including the Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. (June 28 – July 24, 2014)
Post-program implementation of education and service projects which highlight the learning that took place during the program (August 2014 – November 2014). The specific areas that will be address include:
- Cross cultural experience – immersion and first-hand learning about the cultures of Singapore and Malaysia
- Sustainable development and environmental sustainability – a pattern of growth in which resource use aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come.
- Leadership training – Collaborating with participants from across the country virtually and together while in Singapore and Malaysia; the post program project implementation phase is designed to help inspire persona and professional growth among participants and prepare them to be future leaders.
- Development of social media tools for program implementation and outreach
- Introduction to the concept of "bio-cultural conservation"