Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI)

YSEALI logo

The Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) is a program by the U.S. Department of State to strengthen leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia.  It is open to citizens of the 10 ASEAN nations aged 18-35 years old.

Through a variety of programs and engagements, including U.S. educational and cultural exchanges, regional exchanges, and seed funding, YSEALI seeks to build the leadership capabilities of youth in the region, strengthen ties between the United States and Southeast Asia, and nurture an ASEAN community.

YSEALI focuses on critical topics identified by youth in the region: education, civic engagement, environment and natural resources management, and entrepreneurship and economic development.

The programs offered under YSEALI are:

  1. YSEALI Professional Fellowships:Offer month-long mentorship and shadowing programs at businesses, NGOs, and government offices in the United States.
  2. YSEALI Academic Fellowships:Provide intensive study of leadership and regional issues at American campuses.
  3. YSEALI Generation Workshops:Deliver hands-on training for ASEAN youth, giving them the tools necessary to actively lead their communities while connecting them to each other and the United States.
  4. YSEALI Seeds for the Future:Offers seed money for young leaders to implement their innovative ideas for regional challenges.
  5. Social Media Engagement:Youth express their ideas and connect with the United States and each other through YSEALI’s social media properties. Twitter chats, YouTube videos, Facebook posts, email, online quizzes, and a website provide a variety of opportunities for conversation, learning, and networking.

As of August 2016, there are approximately 900 registered YSEALI members and 60 YSEALI alumni in Brunei. Many alumni of YSEALI programs have gone on to lead or participate in civil society organizations and activities.  For example, YSEALI alumni and local YSEALI members ran two youth-led workshops—Young Project Managers (YouPM) and Young Media Advocates (YouMA)—to train youth on project management. Another initiative, Youth Against Slavery (YASBrunei), is the result of YSEALI members networking with other regional counterparts attending a regional YSEALI workshop.  YASBrunei is the country’s first-ever civil society organization focused on combatting Trafficking in Persons.

For more info on YSEALI, please go to https://asean.usmission.gov/yseali/

For more information about YSEALI opportunities, Brunei citizens can email yseali_bsb@state.gov .