Spotlight: Leong Yu Man

YSEALI members are making a difference. In the coming weeks, we will feature young leaders across the ASEAN region who have participated in YSEALI programs and show how joining this community has helped them grow professionally and personally.

Leong Yu Man
Leong Yu Man

Leong Yu Man, 29
State Assemblywoman, Pahang State Legislative Assembly

Leong Yu Man couldn’t believe her luck when she was selected to come to the United States as a participant in the YSEALI Professional Fellows Program. Little did she know she’d get to visit the White House. But that wasn’t the most rewarding part of her five-week fellowship. A state assemblywoman in Malaysia, Leong had the opportunity to work with Youth Service America, a Washington-based youth volunteer organization. She says her work there taught her a lot about building a more just, inclusive democracy.

Leong plans to “share my own experience in [the] U.S. to inspire [the] local community in seeking freedom of speech, expression and religion in Malaysia.” She believes what she learned as a YSEALI Fellow will help to “cultivate the spirit of paying it forward and giving back to community … to build a better society.”

Leong’s tips for success:

  • Be willing to sacrifice your time and energy to gain experience.
  • Be prepared to face challenges and the possibility of failure.
  • Be open to learning from senior people around you. Their advice is especially valuable, as they have already been in your shoes.

Hear what other Fellows had to say about their YSEALI experience and apply by December 8.