Georgia State University Hosts Its Fifth Class Of Mandela Washington Fellows

Georgia State University welcomed this week 25 Mandela Washington Fellows, young professionals participating in the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), a leadership and professional development program created by the U.S. Department of State.

The Andrew Young School of Policy Studies will provide Fellows a comprehensive experience in public management and policy for six weeks through its Public Management Leadership Institute, one of three YALI professional development tracks. Seven hundred Fellows are participating across the U.S. this year, with Clark Atlanta University and the University of Georgia also hosting YALI institutes.

“We are honored to welcome the fifth group of YALI fellows to Andrew Young School and Georgia State University. This program allows us to work with some of the most creative young professionals from countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa,” said Dean Sally Wallace. “Sharing the experiences and expertise of our faculty, staff and students with these Fellows, we enrich mutual understanding of complex problems and work together to make this world a better place.”

The Andrew Young School program follows YALI’s mandate to empower Fellows through mentorship, community engagement and academic coursework. Fellows will interact with faculty experts from the Andrew Young School and J. Mack Robinson College of Business, as well as professionals from local federal agencies and prominent nonprofit organizations.

Fellows will have the opportunity to participate in peer groups and roundtables tailored to their professional backgrounds. They will discover Atlanta’s urban landscape as they participate in a number of community-service based projects.

“Serving the Atlanta community in some way is a critical component of the program,” said Sharon Hill, a clinical associate professor and YALI’s academic director for Georgia State. “Our Fellows enjoy packaging food for needy families, distributing toiletries to the homeless, working with underprivileged children, or in any capacity that allows them to be of service during their time here.” Fellows also will have the opportunity to engage with host families in various social settings in and around metro Atlanta.

After completing the six-week program, Fellows from around the country will travel to Washington, D.C., to attend the Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit, a networking event with leaders from the nonprofit, private and public sectors. While the majority will then return home to share best practices learned during the program, a select group will stay in the U.S. to participate in an extended development program.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is a program of the U.S. Department of State, administered by IREX.

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