An exciting and productive week of ICT’s Tibetan Youth Leadership Program

Participants of the TYLP 2019 with Mr. Tenzin N. Tethong, VOA Tibetan Director and former Chairman of the Tibetan Cabinet as well as president of ICT, and ICT President Matteo Mecacci.

First, I would like to share a big warm thank you to all the sponsors, supporters and staff members at ICT who made this program possible. Without their endless support, hard work and dedication none of this would have been possible. I am forever grateful for receiving such an amazing opportunity to attend the 2019 Tibetan Youth Leadership Program. This exciting and productive week flew by and I wouldn’t want to trade this experience of being able to meet and interact with extraordinary members in the community who have contributed greatly to the Tibetan issue with any other.

One aspect I enjoyed most about this program was gaining exposure to grasp a better understanding of how the American political system works, in order to help us further enhance our methods on improving the current situation in Tibet. Listening to distinguished professionals working on foreign policy issues and sharing their stories and experience greatly allowed me to put things into perspective as well as see that there is still more that we can do to create change. Another aspect of this program which I appreciated greatly was the fact that we all came together with a shared ambition and purpose in wanting to make an impact for Tibet despite our different backgrounds in field of study.

I believe that it is crucial that in order to be effective leaders in our community one must have both an educated mind and heart. I find it really important that everyone prospers and thrives in whatever field they’re studying so that there is a solid base to start from. I encourage everyone to put their mind to whatever it is that they want to study and do so with great dedication. I found it very captivating how all my fellow participants and I are all studying different things in our universities such as nursing, economics, finance, psychology and etc. because it makes our drive so much more productive and powerful. The fact that we can each contribute something unique to the table makes fighting for our cause so much more engaging.

Attending ICT’s week long Tibetan Youth Leadership Program has truly been a valuable experience. I believe the size of the participants in this program has enabled us to get closer to one another on a deeper level as we are all able to come together. In addition, the fact that we can all come together despite varying fields of study under a common goal on behalf of Tibet makes us stronger than ever. It is extremely important that the younger generation understand that it is our duty as Tibetan Americans to continue to be louder than ever despite all the actions the Chinese regime puts forth to shut us down. It is in our position to utilize what we learn and place matters into our own hands to see real change. Something I will carry on from this program is the everlasting knowledge and friendships I have made with everyone here.

Whether or not you have any interest in politics or International affairs or relations, deep down we are all involved in this as this issue is no longer a foreign issue but a domestic one. Now, it is more important than ever to make our voices heard because the Tibetan issue lies within all of us and so we must educate ourselves to make an impact in politics which plays a huge role in the world and global affairs. Everyone should apply to this program because we can never have too many leaders in our community to lead Tibet to its freedom.

I have gained an insight into the true value of how important education is in being able to advocate for ourselves as well as educating others, Thank you ICT!

By Yeshi Lhakyi, a member of the 2019 Tibetan Youth Leadership Program.

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The International Campaign for Tibet's blog periodically features guest blogs by individuals who can provide unique insight to ICT programs and current events.