"What makes the difference is persistence, to keep going; this is the essence of YABT - to keep adding up and continue making things happen. This is how we have come so far [VI Young Americas Forum]. Let the young people take this story to other young people and to their communities. Don’t be afraid to talk to leaders in your country or to your president."
- Roy L. Thomasson, Founder, Young Americas Business Trust
Washington, D.C., August 13, 2022. – On this International Youth Month we bring you the testimonials of Young Americas Business Trust interns, whose talent and contributions were key to the success of the VI Young Americas Forum, one of the three official forums of the IX Summit of the Americas, that was held in Los Angeles, United States of America.
This group of young people from Bolivia, El Salvador, and Peru, have diverse professions and roles within the organization, they contributed significantly to the youth participation process, demonstrating their talent and energy on behalf of the hemisphere's youth. Today, they share with us their experience.
Harumi Kasay, a 25-year-old political scientist from Peru, shares that the perseverance and determination of the youth of the hemisphere were almost touchable in the VI Forum, Harumi says that she has witnessed how necessary it is to listen to the ideas of young people and their innovative projects. Also, observed that the Young Americas Forum is key to the motivation and enthusiasm of many young people focused on working for their community, highlighting that more people continue to join this effort.
On the other hand, Patrick Navia, a 23-year-old commercial engineer and economist from Bolivia, says that the VI Forum was a unique experience of preparation and learning, providing the world with an event of such magnitude that it has a positive impact on new generations. Navia says that this experience opens many doors, emphasizing that "networking, multicultural and international learning make the change and encourage me to achieve my goals”.
Karina Bonilla, a 24-year-old Social Communicator from El Salvador, talks with enthusiasm about her experience as part of the organizing team for the VI Forum. She was struck by the level of interaction between youth and hemisphere leaders. Bonilla adds, "Youth are raising their voices and being heard now more than ever and it is time to continue to nurture their proposals that came out of the VI Forum. She also highlights the need to "encourage more people to join this process, which will contribute to creating an important change in the Americas".
For his part, Juan Carlos España, a 25-year-old political scientist from Peru, affirmed that the VI Forum was a mix of resilience, passion, and effort of youth. Even with difficulties, many young people managed ways to make their voices heard and did not stop persisting until their voices reached us. On the other hand, he says that “there is a lot of humility in great leaders and their interest in connecting with youth, even if they are in a higher professional position, that is admirable”, pointed out España.
In the last VI Forum, a series of plenary sessions, panels, keynote lectures and other activities were held. But undoubtedly, these four young professionals agree that one of the panels that captivated their attention was Preparing a 21st Century Workforce, where they connected with the entrepreneurs, with their life stories.
Each intern keeps this learning and they are planning to give back the knowledge to their communities. These young adults leave us with a final message: Harumi Kasay has included some goals in her roadmap to impact the global agenda. Patrick Navia will focus on impacting his country through a strategic plan that will have a positive effect on entrepreneurship in Bolivia. Juan Carlos España will continue working on the process after the VI Forum, as part of the empowerment of the youth of the continent, and an opportunity for personal growth. Karina Bonilla will take the VI Forum to the public institutes, so that the Salvadoran youth know about these processes and thus the new generation of young people, and make them get interested in working on the Declaration and the Action Plan, to continue raising youth voices.
More young people and organizations are invited to join the next steps of the VI Young Americas Forum. This work has not concluded yet and there are many ways to contribute to youth development in our region.
Find out the results of the VI Forum at: www.yabt.net/foro
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