Alumni

Speeches Shim

Alumni are what make YALI the powerful movement that it is. YALI Regional Leadership Center (RLC) alumni are working in every field and industry to help build a more prosperous and free African continent. When participants graduate from the YALI RLCs, their connections to YALI are strengthened through a vast YALI alumni community. Many join country-specific Alumni Chapters, which are groups of alumni spearheaded and led by alumni looking to connect with fellow participants in their home countries. These YALI Alumni Country Chapters not only allow alumni to connect with one another, but also provide a forum to work together to organize events, incubate ideas, launch service projects, and address challenges in their communities.  In addition, the RLCs continue to directly support alumni by providing opportunities for continued professional development and networking, many of which are sponsored by RLC partners. RLCs also provide grants for selected projects, offer resources, and promote alumni community initiatives for alumni. 

For instance, between 2017-2018, the Uganda Alumni Chapter held nearly 80 chapter events across the country that directly benefited over 6,000 individuals. Events included youth entrepreneurship training, visits to schools in refugee camps, Open Mic nights, and chapter networking events. 

They are the changemakers on the continent, and USAID continues to seek out more ways to support alumni who will lead their communities and countries into the future.

“It is time to change the narrative and provide some relief...to our aged leaders who have given so much for this beautiful country, some from their youthful time. We now need leaders who are more willing to engage the problems faced by those they lead, and it is you and I who are ready for this task.”
-Joseph Nyende, Speaker’s Bureau Committee Chair of Uganda Alumni Chapter

Going Beyond Training to Foster a Professional Network

One of the most important questions after the 4-12 week program is: what’s next? Alumni have ongoing opportunities to connect, continue their learning, help to shape future cohorts of the program, and apply the lessons, tools, and techniques they have learned to benefit their communities. Some examples of alumni engagement opportunities are:

  • Volunteer Engagement: Alumni serve as volunteers via country-based Alumni Chapters or as Country Liaisons, helping to coordinate activities, host trainings, recruit prospective participants, review applications, and engage the community.
  • Funding Opportunities: Alumni can apply for financial and non-financial resources to support collective action and help sponsor meaningful activities, trainings, events, workshops, and forums.
  • Networking, Events & Continued Learning: RLCs provide specialized networking occasions (e.g., with local investors, public officials, etc.), social events, continued educational opportunities such as monthly Learning Labs, and a platform to stay connected with fellow graduates.
    • Country or Thematic Alumni Chapters provide more alumni-driven and localized networking and work-sharing opportunities between YALI graduates. With support from the RLC, U.S. Embassies, and USAID Missions, these Alumni Chapters allow for a diversity of peer-to-peer enrichment opportunities. 
  • Mentorships & Internships: The RLCs provide alumni opportunities to expand upon their leadership skills through on-the-job learning opportunities with partner organizations like Microsoft, Dow, and the Kenya Commercial Bank Foundation. Through these opportunities, alumni build on their YALI training with practical work experience and support from both their peers and established leaders in industry. 

Last updated: July 20, 2021

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