Youth Leadership Summit Day 2!

Mayor's Reception

Mayor’s Reception

Mayor's Reception

Mayor’s Reception

On the way back from UTSA

On the way back from UTSA

David Houle, keynote speaker

David Houle, keynote speaker

Another exciting day took place on day two of the Youth Leadership Summit.  The morning began with a meeting period for each country group to discuss issues and possible resolutions, and thankfully, we were able to meet with country representatives who helped answer our questions.  The Japan group discussed and debated possible resolutions which will be presented tomorrow during the final mock Model United Nations simulation, where each country group will present and support their resolutions on global issues such as climate change, deforestation, maritime security, poverty, etc.

Following the meeting periods, keynote speaker, David Houle, who is America’s Leading Futurist and Author, presented his views about the growing world we live in and the changing of times; his speech was both interesting and insightful.  Youth also had the opportunity to hear from Dr. Dino Patti Djalal, Indonesia’s Ambassador to the United States.  I felt engaged throughout his speech; from his start as a dishwasher at the embassy to becoming an ambassador there, about his skills both learned and acquired, as well as his goals and responsibilities.  The quotes, “Success is getting younger”, “…no expiration date for skills”, and “…most important currency is your skill” by the ambassador were just a few that made his presentation strong, engaging, and original.  He also said, “Pursue your nationalism and internationalism simultaneously”, as that is the “secret of success”.  In other words, the past shapes who you are, and you cannot forget where you come from.  Dr. Dino Patti Djalal says his biggest challenge was being able to embrace change, and his biggest responsibility is to build bridges between nations.  My favorite quotes by him were, “I want them [his children] to follow what they think” and “Geek power is good.”  

Later in the afternoon, Youth Leadership Summit students visited the University of Texas- San Antonio, where we received a tour and had a Q&A session with current professors and students who had backgrounds in International Studies.  This was a truly helpful experience and I was excited to learn about the new innovations at UTSA.

In the evening, all participants in the Sister Cities International Conference convened at the Institute of Texan Cultures for the Mayor’s reception.  There was amazing food that reflected different cultures, as well as performances, and a heartwarming speech from Mayor Julian Castro.  This event succeeded in bringing everyone together in order to create a joyous and harmonious evening.  

Today was full of wondrous experiences, and I look forward to tomorrow.   


-Maddie C., 16

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