Why empower young leaders?

There is a leader in everyone, and there are many ways to lead. Some leaders start their journeys simply by following what their hearts tell them to do. There are leaders who rise to the occasion in times of personal life challenges, or of social injustice and public turmoil. Other leaders step up and take the challenge because they are needed by others. And yet other leaders who, in doing simple things, are akin to a spark--a spark that ignites a glowing fire, bringing warmth, and offering light to everyone around them.

Young leaders are like these sparks. Their simplicity, idealism, innovation, creativity, and resourcefulness, among other things, are sources of inspiration even to the most jaded and cynical. Young leaders in action help strip down leadership to its primary purpose: to make other people leaders as well. Not only leaders of the kind you see in the corporate world, or in public office, or in civic change. Leadership is no longer confined to such roles. Everyone can make a difference in their life, starting with developing a healthy mind and a healthy life. 

Recent international research into leadership development has shown that building a new generation of leaders should start as early as possible, in schools and colleges. The 70-20-10 rule explains that leadership development is most effective when young leaders engage in challenging assignments to make a difference, and are supported by education, coaching and mentoring.

Our projects at Natalie in the Light Inc. take this modern inclusive approach. Aspiring young leaders discover and choose how they want to make a difference by exploring it in practice. They find out what abilities and skills they need to be a leader wherever they are, with intelligence, a positive attitude, and compassion to be a light for themselves and for others. 

We are excited about our partnership with the ASEAN Youth Leaders Association - Philippines (AYLA) for the Young Bridging Leaders Program, and we welcome opportunities to partner with other like-minded organizations to empower young leaders. In previous years we have already collaborated with British School Manila, Virlanie Foundation, Aguinaldo International School, Food for Hungry Minds School, the Asian Development Bank's Youth for Asia initiative, Urban Youth Academy in Seoul, TransformationFirst.Asia in Singapore, Asia-Pacific Youth Exchange, the Asian Institute of Management, and others.

As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.
— Bill Gates

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