Outreach Coordinator presents Philippines Youth Leadership Program at NIU

By Aabeda Masra, Communications Intern

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CAIR-Chicago’s Outreach Coordinator, Gerald Hankerson gave a presentation called, “Practical skills for transforming civil society; integrating faith, diversity and social action.” The presentation was given to the student members of Philippines Youth Leadership Program (PYLP) on Wednesday, April 18, 2012.

PYLP is similar to Muslim Youth Leadership Symposium (MYLS). MYLS is a youth leadership program by CAIR-Chicago, which creates and implements projects that teach young adults to be engaged in the community to better the society.

This is Hankerson’s fourth year presenting PYLP, which is sponsored by International Training Office. The presentation was hosted at Northern Illinois University (NIU) and included 24 high school students and four college students who are know as “Adult Leaders” of the program.

The session was interactive, and there were three exercises the participants had to complete.  The first one made the students comprehend who they are in terms for skills and talents.  Their strengths and characteristics challenged them to understand themselves in relation to their family, community and society.

The second exercise was a simpler one as the students were asked to share a personal narrative, which made them realize what they have encountered to have passion about certain issues.  The third assignment was the students were divided into groups and given a scenario to solve about a particular issue.  This taught the kids to successfully work in a team for a positive outcome.

Hankerson explained PYLP, “The program gives the right tools to students to help them understand themselves.  And, how their race, gender, family, life experiences and their perspectives shape what they’d like to change for the better in their community and society.”

The broader issue Hankerson emphasized as he concluded the session  was the significance of social work and understanding leadership.

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