UG Fellows share One World Youth Project
In partnership with the University of Guyana (UG), international non-profit organization One World Youth Project (OWYP) selected two distinguished student Fellows to attend a leadership conference in Boge Village, Kosovo this month. They attended with their peers from the U.S., Pakistan, Turkey, and Kosovo.
The University of Guyana (UG) students Ryan Hoppie and Onika Stellingburg represented the University of Guyana at the annual One World Youth Project Summer Training Conference. They participated in rigorous workshops and worked at building a global community between themselves and their colleagues from around the world.
Through experiential learning activities at the conference, fellows have developed skills in project management, organization, team building, conflict resolution, facilitation, professionalism, decision-making and leadership.
The purpose of the conference was to prepare the 12 student Fellows from around the world to lead and manage the OWYP education project in their own communities, implementing a 21st century education curriculum in surrounding middle schools and building a global mindset among local youth.
“This is the first time that something of this nature, a programme that directly empowers Guyanese youth through education, is being implemented in Guyana,” said Ryan Hoppie. “I’m very, very excited to be a part of it.”
“Although I’ve been to many workshops before, this was a hands-on conference with a specific aim in facilitating cultural communication and education among youth,” adds Onika Stellingburg, UG student Fellow. “It has given me a chance as a leader to improve my skills, even after I leave the conference, these are skills that I still can use and will use to bring about positive change in my community.”
One World Youth Project (OWYP) is an international education non-profit organization that partners with universities and engages university students as global leaders in their local communities. Through an extensive combination of in-person and online trainings, university students become mentors for students aged 10-14 years, facilitating a year-long global competence curriculum in local middle schools. The university students connect these middle school classrooms with classrooms abroad for cultural exchange, equipping youth with the tools, like cross-cultural communication, necessary to thrive in the 21st century world.
Most importantly, at the conference, fellows have been forming long-lasting bonds transcending cultural lines through facilitated dialogues on diversity, empathy and cross-cultural understanding. These bonds will help fellows manage the one-year programme in coordination with their counterparts around the world, learning transferable skills in project management and coordination.
“The most amazing thing about the programme is that the fellows actually have the opportunity to practise international project management by coordinating remotely with peers in another country to bring cross-cultural programming to their respective communities,” said OWYP executive director, Jess Rimington.
“Cross-border communication, project management, responsibility, accountability, collaboration and organization – all on a global level. These skills are empowering our students with the opportunity to be leaders in our increasingly globalized 21st century.”
“It was expected and seen that by the afternoon we had all formed meaningful bonds with each other. All the activities done today gave us a chance to work with each Project Manager Fellow from all of the other countries thereby facilitating cross-cultural exchanges even within the workshops, which made the learning process fun and interactive,” wrote UG students, Hoppie and Stellingburg.
“Some of us came representing one or two cultures but now we embody several. One World Youth Project is what it is because we encompass and represent the entire world.”
The universities represented at the conference were the University of Guyana (Georgetown, Guyana), Boston University (Boston, U.S.A.), Georgetown University (Washington, D.C., U.S.A.), National University of Sciences and Technology (Islamabad, Pakistan), University of Prishtina (Prishtina, Kosovo) and Istanbul Bilgi University (Istanbul, Turkey).