SEALNet’s Youth Leadership Summit 2015 (YLS15)

Email: yls15[at]
YLS15 on Facebook

Executive Summary

Having worked in Southeast Asia and sponsored more than 40 projects in 10 years, SEALNet has successfully planted the seeds of service leadership in countless young leaders, who soon will become prominent voices as well as passionate service leaders for their communities. Recognizing this driven energy in the youth of the region, SEALNet continues the work of collaborating like-minded peers for a better service network across Southeast Asian countries.

In 2013, SEALNet developed the inaugural Youth Leadership Summit (YLS)  in Singapore and provided valuable experiences and platforms for 18 participants to learn about regional collaboration. Among those participants, 8 of them became project leaders of SEALNet Service Leadership Projects in 2014. Now, SEALNet Youth Leadership Summit 2015 seeks to continue the success of YLS13 and bring the youths of Southeast Asia together for a 10-day-long Leadership Summit, in which they can share their works, widen their perspectives, and grow as potential leaders along with their friends.

The central theme of the YLS15 is Empowerment and Friendship. We realized that in order to create a strong network of young leaders in the future, they need to develop a genuine bond first. The stronger the friendship is, the stabler the network becomes. In order to foster friendship, we will create a safe space where participants will continue to explore and understand themselves first, and then share and learn from one another. It is the process of being empowered and empowering, being inspired and inspiring. We believe that Empowerment and Friendship is a powerful foundation for a strong network of future leaders who will collaborate and foster social changes.

The Summit 2015 will be a ten-day story that reinforces the central theme. The ten days will not only revolve around the three main goals: Self-development, Vision of Southeast Asia, and Project Management Skills; participants and organizers will connect these three pillars to create a story of the Summit and our journey as SEALNutters together.


The first goal is to provide an environment for personal growth among participants. This will be achieved through meaningful exchange of ideas that aim to push participants to reflect deeply about themselves, together with fellow peers. We will emphasize the growth through the genuine connection with others of diverse backgrounds, and the newly developed understanding of identities, values, and directions that will follow.

The second goal is to inspire the youth to envision their own Southeast Asia. The summit will serve as a platform for participants, organizers and guest speakers to share ideas and perspectives on current events and historical contexts in the region. This sharing platform will inspire the participants to be more engaged in regional challenges and more importantly, take the initiative to address through collaborative service leadership.

The third goal of the Summit is to equip the participants with project management skills. Participants will have hands-on experiences with stimulation of a service project and develop their leadership skills working as a team. We will prepare them with workshops and interactive discussions about project management skills. Participants will benefit most from both theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience on the ground. They will also have a chance to take ownership of potential projects in 2016 supported by the YLS15 organizing team.


Who: Students from 17-22 years old who strongly believe in SEALNet mission. We also highly encourage past SEALNet’s project participants to apply to reconnect with our network. (We will also consider those who are not age-wise eligible on an exceptional basis).

When: June 14- June 24, 2015Participants are expected to attend for the full duration of these days, so please make sure to know in advance the dates before you decide to apply.

Where: Hanoi, Vietnam.

Fee: The summit’s on-site expenses are free, and will be covered by SEALNet. However, participants must cover their own travel expenses to and back from Hanoi, Vietnam and any additional expenses of their own during the time of the summit. In addition, each participant is suggested to be responsible for fundraising $200 USD prior to coming to the summit. Please note that this fundraising contribution is NOT a mandatory fee to attend the summit. Also, financial aid for flight tickets to attend Summit is available on a case-by-case basis. In case of any extenuating financial circumstance, please do not hesitate to contact us at yls15[at] for more information.

Application opens on February 28 and closes at 11:59 pm EST, March 21. Please note that the Youth Leadership Summit application is separate from the two-week long Service Leadership Projects of SEALNet.

Meet the Organizers
1. Thuyen Truong

Thuyen is currently a junior at East Catholic High School in Manchester, Connecticut. He has not made up his mind on what to pursue in college yet but he intends to concentrate more on Political Science and Global Affairs. Thuyen’s involvement with SEALNet started in 2013 when he was selected to attend Youth Leadership Summit but he could not attend it in the last minute because of his medical condition at that time. Still, he was immensely inspired by the spirit of SEALNet as well as the strong network that SEALNutters could establish among each other. Knowing how meaningful the summit is and how regrettable it would be if not be able to attend it, Thuyen is determined to come back as an organizer for the summit this year to bring the opportunity to more youth in Southeast Asia. If possible, he aspires to initiate the invitation to form a new organizing team for another summit in 2016. Thuyen enjoys swimming, fishing. He is also an ardent fan of Japanese mangas and street foods. In his free time, he enjoys browsing through the BBC and New York Time apps or hunting down the latest episodes of House of Cards, Game of Thrones.

2. Trang Ho

Trang is currently a senior majoring in Economics and International Relations at Lake Forest College, Illinois. She was one of the Vietnamese participants from Vietnam at SealNet’s Youth Leadership Summit 2013.

The 2013 summit was her transformative experience where she developed self-understanding, genuine passion for community service and was inspired by like-minded service leaders from 11 countries in Southeast Asia. With the inspiration, network, and mentorship gained from the summit, she went on to build a community library in the Vietnamese countryside. The library has served to provide books and a space for healthy discussion and entertainment for rural children who can’t afford these books.

During the 2015 summit, her main responsibility is to build the program content. Trang wants to create an inspiring and transformative experience for coming participants. In the future, she looks for opportunities to become a project mentor. Besides school and projects, she enjoys analyzing Southeast Asian politics and business cases, cooking traditional dishes, singing in choirs, and catching up with old friends.

3. Lan Anh Hoang Pham

Lan Anh is currently a freshman at Brown University concentrating in Health and Human Biology. She has been involved in SEALNet since 2009 as an attendee and became a mentee in Project Vietnam 2010. She participated in SEALNet’s first Youth Leadership Summit 2013 in Singapore and co-led Project Brunei 2014. Inspired by the close-knit community at SEALNet, Lan Anh continues to organize the Youth Leadership Summit 2015 in Hanoi, Vietnam, and she will serve as a member of Board of Directors in 2015-2016. Lan Anh enjoys reading, cooking, traveling, and having quality time with others.

4. Liem Nguyen

Liem is currently a sophomore at the University of Washington studying International Studies and Comparative History of Ideas. His experience with SEALNet traces back to 2014 when he was a mentor for Vietnamese and Cambodian high school students in Project Vietnam 2014. Deeply inspired and empowered by the powerful connections with like-hearted friends and profoundly valuable lessons about service, He is determined to go back to Vietnam this summer and recreate the same experience for a new generation of service leaders with the hope that they will have a safe space to share their stories, to listen to their friends’ and create something meaningful alongside one another. In his free time, he enjoys word-fight, friendly gossip about other SEALNutters, reading, and late-night deep conversations.

5. Kristie Le (Hoang Yen Le)

A current sophomore at Tufts University, Kristie spends her days analyzing economic models and examining industries in her Quantitative Economics major, and her nights on hoping to inspire people with SEALNet. Her first involvement with the non-profit organization was as a mentor and fundraising team leader for high school students in Project Vietnam 2014. Through her journey, she became deeply motivated by the valuable network of empowering service leaders, who are willing to take action to improve their community. This lingering feeling brings her back to Youth Leadership Summit 2015 in hopes of creating a platform that lets more people explore their potential and be inspired by service. An avid photographer, a food lover and an ambitious storyteller, she hopes others can express themselves freely when joining the Summit.

6. Pairode Jaroensri (Kim)

Kim is currently a senior at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School. He will be attending the University of California at Berkeley and majoring in Physics in the coming fall. His first time with SEALNet was the Youth Leadership Summit 2013. Inspired by brilliant mentors, he is determined to recreate the same or even better experience for more people who are passionate about South East Asia, so he joined the organizing team of Youth Leadership Summit 2015. In his free time, he enjoys stargazing, singing, playing piano, photography, and having a good time with close friends.

7. Alira Vania Putri Dwipayana

Alira is a proud Indonesian, currently residing in Seoul, South Korea. She will be attending Korea University for her Bachelor degree. Alira first joined SEALNet when she was still in high school through Youth Leadership Summit 2013 as a participant and co-led Project Malaysia 2014 – Batang Kali in the following year. Inspired by her life-changing SEALNet experiences, she decides to continue contributing to Youth Leadership Summit 2015. Through this opportunity, she intends to help the youth of Southeast Asia to connect with each other more and build up genuine friendships among themselves. She loves traveling, learning languages and dancing Sundanese traditional dance.

8. Ha Ta

Ha’s life was changed forever ever since she was accepted as a mentee in SEALNet’s Project Vietnam (Hanoi) 2010. Never in her life, she received such warmth, passion, knowledge, and love from people besides her family – seeing and accepting her for who she was despite the many flaws. Such feelings never faded, only fortified when she successfully applied for the Youth Leadership Summit 2013 (YLS13). Yearning to give potential youth leaders from her home country Vietnam and all over Southeast Asia the chance to experience all that she had with SEALNet, she joined the organizing team of YLS15. Ha’s interests remain strongest with youth education and human rights. She currently studies Commerce at RMIT Vietnam, Hanoi.