The 2023 Youth Empowerment Assembly took place last week on 29 July, marking both a celebration of the past year’s achievements and looking ahead to the coming year!
It has been an incredible year for the Youth Fellows community, now numbering over 400 aspiring young people from all walks of life united by their drive to create a better future. Thank you to all the Youth Fellows who came to participate in this celebratory event, looking back on the triumphs of the past year while also stepping enthusiastically into the new one ahead! Check out some of the highlights below :
1. Welcome to the 2023-2024 Youth Council!
The 2023-2024 Youth Council members were announced last week during the 29 August Youth Empowerment Assembly, after a highly competitive application process. The new 18-person council is comprised of aspiring youth fellows representing 16 different countries across the globe. We want to thank all the Youth Fellow applicants for showing their tremendous support and enthusiasm throughout this process.
The Assembly provided a glimpse into the energy and passion of the incoming council members. Here are just some of the excited reactions from a few of the newly appointed fellows:
“I joined the Youth Council community when I was only 18 years old, now it’s already been two years and it’s wonderful to see the Youth Fellows grow so much. We are so powerful, and we can do a lot more. If we form a close bond, we have so much more power and can create much more impact in this world” — Obadia
“As a young changemaker, I’ve never had an opportunity to be with a large group of other wonderful young changemakers. I know I will learn a lot from the other council members along the way. I am excited to learn new things, share knowledge, and empower young people from underdeveloped countries” — Tariq
Seeing the eagerness and global perspectives of these young leaders fills us with optimism for the work the new council will take on this year. We are grateful to all who applied and look forward to the fresh vision this group will bring!
Thank you to the 2022-2023 Youth Council
We also want to extend a huge thank you to the outgoing 2022-2023 Youth Council members for their dedicated service and leadership this past year. Several former council members were present at the assembly to reflect on their experiences and offer advice. Here are some of their thoughts:
“I am filled with a sense of gratitude and joy every time I reflect on the journey as a youth council member, it had been incredible. Witnessing the passion and dedication of each member was a constant reminder of the impact we can make for common causes.” — Fiston
“Coming together as youth changemakers to make an impact around the world. One of the best parts I loved about the youth empowerment community was the relaxing atmosphere for us to share our own thoughts and contributions. It really helps us to come together as a family and also as a diverse community.” — Julia
The commitment of these young leaders has paved the way for the next generation of fellows. Many former Youth Council members have volunteered to continue taking different roles in the youth empowerment circle, such as mentoring both youth fellows and the new Youth Council.
The new Youth Council framework
This year, the Youth Council is implementing some new changes to foster greater connections between the council members and youth fellows. To enhance communication and engagement with the broader youth empowerment circle, the Youth Council will now meet quarterly instead of monthly. This will allow time to review the progress of the youth fellow community and determine the next steps.
The Youth Council roles will focus on:
– cultivating a collaborative environment across the community as enthusiastic ambassadors
– facilitating discussions to identify strategies that better support youth fellows in their work
– elevating youth voices to the executive board to accurately represent their perspectives and recommendations
The quarterly meetings will follow a progressive agenda from fostering growth and understanding to enhancing support, amplifying voices, and reflecting on the year’s challenges and achievements.
2. Celebrating the close of the IKIGAI+ Purpose Development Programme for Youth fellows!
The summer inner development program, IKIGAI+, with more than 150 members and 27 different workshops held, also recently concluded. We were delisghted to bring everyone together to honor the 40+ youth fellows (and many more to come) who had graduated from the program. Thank the organizers for their fun and meaningful workshops.
3. Fostering Collaboration: The new platform
LearningPlanet is excited to launch the new Projects platform for the Youth Community to foster more meaningful collaborations by showcasing and connecting their skills, projects and objectives for the coming year!.
This hub allows all people and projects to be discovered so we can connect with each other based on shared passions. Youth fellows can share their skills, SDGs they are advocating for, current projects, and more. This wider visibility enables more youth to find supporting opportunities around causes they care about and collaborate with those who have similar interests. Explore the platform here:
Our Youth Fellows finished the assembly by filling the Jamboard with love and support!
The new projects page facilitates discovery, collaboration, and recognition – bringing our community together to drive meaningful change!
Reflection from Angel
Attending the Youth Empowerment Assembly for the second year was an incredibly uplifting experience. Each time, I’m amazed to see the community continue to expand with new members full of energy and passion. What I loved the most was the atmosphere of gratitude for our supportive community, accomplished team, and this precious world we live in. It truly inspired me to be more thankful for what we have already.
Gathering in this way is so meaningful to collectively celebrate the year’s accomplishments before embarking on the next phase of growth. It honors how far we’ve come while also fueling encouragement for the impact we can continue to make. With new members joining each year, it’s especially important for existing fellows to welcome them into the community and build a culture of interconnectedness.
I believe that together, in this close-knit community, we have the power to create huge positive change in the world. As a former council member, I saw firsthand the team’s dedication. Now, as a fellow, I want to collaborate even more broadly with all members of this empowerment circle. Our shared passion and vision make anything possible when we unite behind a common purpose. This community shows me that when hearts are open and focused on a better tomorrow, we have unlimited potential to create it.
Angel is a passionate 17-year-old advocate seeking to improve well-being and mental health of people across the globe. As an international student who has called China, Australia, and the United States home, she brings a multicultural perspective shaped by her diverse life experiences. Angel’s dedication to human wellness was sparked during the emergence of COVID-19 when she mobilized quickly to support frontline workers in Wuhan and build awareness in Australia. Her initiative earned her recognition as a finalist for NSW International Student of the Year. Today, Angel continues sharing resources like journaling to foster resilience.
With experience attending six different schools in three countries, Angel is adept at bridging cultures and supporting diverse communities. At Dulwich College Beijing, she spearheaded well-being programs to nourish students’ emotional, physical, and spiritual health. Angel is also developing her My Inner World initiative to empower high schoolers to embrace their passions through self-discovery. Her goal is to lead interactive workshops that guide youth in meaning-making. As a Learning Planet Youth Fellow and member of the 2022/2023 Youth Council, Angel is expanding her advocacy worldwide. She is eager to leverage this global platform to enrich young lives everywhere through purpose and self-awareness.
Beyond her youth empowerment work, Angel enjoys journaling, graphic design, and music. She has finished 4 journals over the past 3 years. She has also completed grade 8 piano. Moreover, she is passionate about teaching younger students. She is currently teaching a middle school boy and has taught multiple classes of underprivileged children English and computer science. Driven by care for others, Angel strives to be a compassionate, culturally fluent, engaged global citizen.
The Covid Watch – https://www.thecovidwatch.com/
My Inner World – https://myinnerworld.squarespace.com/
Connect with me – www.linkedin.com/in/angel-yuzhe-wang