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From a YES Student: Iowa Global Youth Leadership Conference

February 16, 2010

Justin Fuime is a high school student from Morogoro, Tanzania. Justin has been living and attending school in Fort Dodge this year through the U.S. State Department’s Youth Exchange and Study Program.

Here, he shares what he’s learned while attending the Iowa Global Youth Leadership Conference, an event which brings together foreign exchange students from across the state to share their diverse perspective on global issues.

Justin (bottom row, second from R) attends the IGYLC with students from 38 other countries

The reason for this kind of a meeting is not just to put a bunch of teenagers together for the sake of being exchange students, but to connect them in a certain way that each individual discovers the true  meaning of being a part of growing generation.

As a student who looks forward to being a better citizen of tomorrow and altering my community with the skills I’ve obtained, this was a perfect opportunity to gain some important skills and hints from people across the globe.

Meeting these people completely stunned me, because we shared the same instincts as tomorrow’s leaders in spite of our diverse cultures, languages and even skills. I learned that the success of any community doesn’t depend on the amount of resources they have, but it depends on the manpower, skills and teamwork. With the proper coordination of these three categories, nothing is unbeatable.

My favorite part of the conference was learning about new cultures from different countries and also working as a group to succeed when we had a task to do in limited time. We proved that we can make a difference.

Though we only had two days, there was a bond that made us feel like we knew each other for a long time, and we all learned to share the spirit of hard work through teamwork. For me, it was more of reshaping my leadership skills to overcome the challenges.

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