Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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Brunei Town

Alumni gala celebrates leaders young and old

Adib Noor

Exchange programme alumni are leaders in their fields and continue to draw upon their experience to collaborate across countries and cultures, empowering others and working towards building a more peaceful and inclusive world.

This was said by United States (US) Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Caryn McClelland during an alumni gala to celebrate its growing network of 435 Bruneian alumni of US Department of State-sponsored exchange programmes at The Rizqun International Hotel recently.

McClelland said the exchange programme began in 1984 when the US and Brunei established formal diplomatic relations. Participants have gone on to become Cabinet ministers, captains of industries and civil society leaders. The programme included the Fulbright Foreign Student programme and Fulbright US-ASEAN Visiting Scholar programme; the International Visitor Leadership programme (IVLP); the Southeast Asia Youth Leadership programme (SEAYLP); the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI); the Global Undergraduate Exchange programme (Global UGRAD); and the Study of the US Institutes for Scholars programme (SUSI).

The event saw 120 alumni attendees and highlighted young leaders through the prize presentation for an essay writing competition co-organised by the US Embassy in Brunei Darussalam and the Brunei English Language Teachers Association (BELTA).

The competition centred on youth leadership in tackling climate change and developing resiliency.

Shannen Xavier Tsen Jia Ee from St Andrew’s School won the lower secondary students category while Lee Jun Siong from Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan Science College won the upper secondary student category.

They won prizes ranging from virtual reality headsets to e-readers.

United States Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Caryn McClelland with competition winners. PHOTOS: ADIB NOOR
US ambassador with alumni award recipients