Youth Development Program
There are few opportunities for young people, particularly impoverished students, to develop professional and leadership skills while they are attending universities.
While Vietnam continues to experience rapid socio-economic change, many Vietnamese youths have few resources to help them adapt to and succeed in the new environment. University curriculum in Vietnam emphasizes on theoretical academics rather than equips students with soft skills needed for their transitions to professional settings.
There are few opportunities for young people, particularly impoverished students, to develop professional and leadership skills, and as a result, as much as 50% of university graduates have to be retrained because their professional skills are not up to standards.
As an organization whose mission is to help youths rise out of poverty, we see the lack of soft skills as a crucial problem to solve if we want to help students truly excel in their professional lives and their communities.
Every summer, VietHope hosts about 30 Vietnamese and 1-5 Vietnamese American college students for a 7-day interactive training in communication, team building and project management skills that is led by volunteers from top-notch companies and organizations in Vietnam and the U.S. After structured training, participants works together to plan and lead a 3-day community service project in which they can practice their new skills immediately. Throughout and after the program, the students get to bond with each other, form lasting communities, emerge with a greater awareness about the world, and cultivate a service heart.
Over the last 8 years of implementing the YDP Summit, we have hosted 240 students. Pre-and-post surveys always show that after 7 days of the program, over 90% of the participants experienced a growth in self-confidence when speaking in front of a group, leading a project, and collaborating with people they did not know well. Our Youth Development Program alumni have gone on to create and sustain their own youth-led organizations in Can Tho, and Saigon.
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