Politics & Government

US to expand program to teach young Asians

US President Barack Obama shakes hands with the audience after a an event with Young South Asian Youth Leaders at Yangon University in Yangon Myanmar, Friday, Nov. 14, 2014.
US President Barack Obama shakes hands with the audience after a an event with Young South Asian Youth Leaders at Yangon University in Yangon Myanmar, Friday, Nov. 14, 2014. AP

President Barack Obama announced Friday that he is expanding his year-old program designed to boost the leadership skills of young Asians.

Obama said at a townhall with young leaders in Yangon, Myanmar Friday that the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative will bring 500 Asians to the United States for five weeks each year to develop their professional and leadership skills in entrepreneurship, environment and natural resources management and civic engagement.

Half will attend U.S. universities and colleges and half will work directly with U.S. non-profit organizations and state and local government offices.

The program consist of young leaders, 18–35 years old, from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Burma, Philippines, Laos, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Since Obama launched the program in 2013, more than 10,000 young people have become members of the the network. He started a similar program for yoing African leaders.

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