Program Overview

“Being the project director of the Philippine Youth Leadership Program for the last 15 years has been an honor.  I have watched over 400 young Mindanaoans graduate from this program and become inspirational leaders in their communities.  I am very happy to see my colleagues at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies continue this engagement.”
Susan D. Russell
Founding Director PYLP 1-15

After 15 years of successful leadership development programs for students from the Philippines, Northern Illinois University (NIU) is pleased to continue the Philippine Youth Leadership Program (PYLP) in 2019 in partnership with Xavier University in the Philippines. Student leaders from diverse communities around the island of Mindanao torn by conflicts, as well as economic hardship and poverty, participate in an intensive one-month leadership training and team building experience in the USA centered at NIU in DeKalb, IL, and concluding with a brief educational visit to Washington, DC. After returning to the Philippines, students implement self-led projects that promote some aspect of community development in their region. They then gather together as a group a final time for sharing best practices and evaluation of their activities.


Center for Southeast Asian Studies at NIU

Xavier University, PhilippinesT