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.
Shernan Gamol, 26
Centro Escolar University
Councilor, Municipality of Mansalay
Shernan Gamol never dreamed he would meet first lady Michelle Obama. But that’s exactly what happened when he came to the United States as a participant in the YSEALI Professional Fellows Program. A municipal councilor in the Philippines, Shernan spent his five-week fellowship working in the Office of Children’s Affairs in Denver, Colorado, where he gained hands-on experience working on projects to promote child and youth development. He met Mrs. Obama at an event in Denver.
Shernan says the fellowship “exposed me to experiential training … on professional achievement, leadership, legislative process, health services for children, early childhood education and civic engagement.” He believes what he learned as a YSEALI Fellow will help him “improve my community and my country in the long run as we … create stable, self-sufficient educational, health and youth programs with high standards and a commitment to continuous quality improvement.”
Shernan’s tips for leading a successful project:
- It is important to learn about the people or community that will be directly affected by the project. You need to identify their actual needs, strengths and weaknesses and recognize what can be done in the short term.
- Make sure your goals are clear, realistic and achievable within a defined time frame.
- Don’t forget to partner with other stakeholders and community members to make your project sustainable and meaningful.
Hear what other Fellows had to say about their YSEALI experience and apply by December 1.