Elizabeth L. Casey-Rutland

October 17, 2014

The Young African Leaders Initiative and Community Engagement

As an intern with the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), I was able to engage extensively with the participants around issues that were important to them. They brought enormous passion and dedication to the issues that they seek to address in their communities. My experience with YALI showed me the enormous potential young people have to enact meaningful change in their communities. It taught me how to deal with challenges and personal disagreements in a professional way. I also learned a lot about how government, corporate, and educational institutions work together and the potential conflicts that can arise during collaboration. It was a rewarding and challenging internship that I would recommend to any Mount Holyoke student with an interest in international relations, development, or African studies.