2nd Annual Youth Leadership Conference is huge success



The USPAK Foundation successfully held its 2nd Annual Youth Leadership Conference in Washington DC from October 21st -23rd 2011. One hundred and eighty five high school and college students travelled from sixteen states to attend the conference, with one person travelling from Karachi, Pakistan to attend this conference.  Complete coverage of the conference is available at http://uspakfoundation.org/youthconf2011/media

During the three day conference, the youth got an opportunity to improve their leadership skills, refine their public speaking skills, and learned college admissions and job interview techniques. They learned about their citizenship rights and were reminded to exercise these rights.  They were advised of the benefits of public engagement and volunteering in their communities and towns. The youth participated in tutorials about essentials of Cultural Identity and Emotional Intelligence for Leadership development.

The White House held a briefing by Senior White House Officials where the youth learned about the Obama Administration's policies on issues of interest to Pakistani-Americans and American Muslims.  At a dinner reception held at the Embassy of Pakistan, Ambassador Haqqani praised the youth for their effort to seek leadership skills, and challenged them to seek careers that are not popular amongst Pakistani Americans. Local Pakistani American Philanthropist Muslim Lakhani shared his experiences at a lunch gathering, telling them to learn from their failures while following their dream. He explained to them the virtues of volunteerism, civic engagement, citizenship responsibilities, and social entrepreneurship.

Other noted speakers who addressed the youth were

Farah PandithSpecial Representative to Muslim Communities to the Secretary of State, Department of State
Shaarik Zafar, Director, Office of Global Engagement Directorate, National Security Staff (NSS), White House
Tamanna Salikuddin, Director, Afghanistan-Pakistan Directorate, NSS, White House
Rashad Hussain, Special Envoy to Organization of Islamic Countries, Department of State
John Kelly, Policy Advisor, White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
Sarah Peck Team Leader, Political Unit, Department of State
Congressman John Sarbanes (MD)
Congressman Chris Van Hollen (MD)

The American Pakistani Youth participated in five panel discussions with Pakistani American Professionals working at the State Department, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, USAID, Capitol Hill, Voice of America, United States Institute of Peace, Entrepreneurs, and PAL-C, and others. Many college students were able to share their resume with Pakistani American professionals and got tips on summer internships and job placements.

Kulsoom Abdullah Pakistani American weightlifter who is training for Olympics competition shared her journey and determination to participate in weightlifting while preserving her cultural identity.
In two separate panel discussions American South Asian and American Jewish Young Professionals talked about team building and volunteer efforts for the betterment of not only their communities and American Community.

The youth participated in many activities during the conference including one on Bullying. In a workshop activity to identify the worst form of Bullying, students picked staying silent on witnessing bullying, this attitude being the most serious form of bullying. Students got hands-on training of being a TV reporter and conducted live interviews of many panelists.  Students also established five year goals for themselves and mailed them in a letter to their parents to be opened after October 23rd 2016.
At the US Capitol, conference participants offered Juma prayers in the Historic Cannon Caucus Room led by Dr. Syeed Syed of ISNA.

The youth were entertained by a famous American Comedian Daniel Nainan followed by musical entertainment by local Pakistani American band – ZAIB.

The  USPAK Foundation is conducting a survey amongst the conference participants and will share the results in the next few weeks.

The USPAK Foundation in the next few weeks will unveil its list of activities for Pakistani American Youth.

You can watch clips of the conference at You Tube; Pictures of the conference at https://picasaweb.google.com/100688165682690998797, and media coverage of conference at http://uspakfoundation.org/youthconf2011/media.

Complete program of the conference is available at: http://uspakfoundation.org/program
Cost of the program was covered by registration fee paid by conference participants and subsidized by generous donation from Conference Sponsors.

USPAK Foundation would like to offer special thanks to Conference Sponsors and Volunteers.


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