BİLGİ Business Administration Students Participated in "One World Youth Project" Summer Training Conference.

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BİLGİ Business Administration Department students Alican Torun and Özge Tokaküçük were in Boge Village, in Rugova Valley of Kosovo, representing BİLGİ at the annual "One World Youth Project" Summer Training Conference held in July 9-15, 2012. The training, an international leadership conference, has brought together 12 distinguished university student leaders from the U.S., Guyana, Turkey, Kosovo and Pakistan.

One World Youth Project (OWYP) is an international education non-profit organization that partners with universities and engages university students as global leaders in their local communities. Through an extensive combination of in-person and online trainings, university students become mentors for students aged 10-14 years, facilitating a year-long global competence curriculum in local middle schools. The university students connect these middle school classrooms with classrooms abroad for cultural exchange, equipping youth with the tools, like cross-cultural communication, necessary to thrive in the 21st century world.

BİLGİ students Alican Torun and Özge Tokaküçük were selected for a 3-semester fellowship to serve as project managers of their student team at BİLGİ. The goal of the conference is to equip fellows with the skills needed to run the OWYP program on their campuses throughout the upcoming academic year. Through experiential learning activities at the conference, fellows have been developing skills in project management, organization, team building, conflict resolution, facilitation, professionalism, decision-making and leadership.

Most importantly, fellows have been forming long-lasting bonds transcending cultural lines through facilitated dialogues on diversity, empathy and cross-cultural understanding. These bonds will help fellows manage the one-year program in coordination with their counterparts around the world, learning transferable skills in project management and coordination. 

“The most amazing thing about the program is that the fellows actually have the opportunity to practice international project management by coordinating remotely with peers in another country to bring cross-cultural programming to their respective communities,” said OWYP executive director, Jess Rimington. “Cross-border communication, project management, responsibility, accountability, collaboration and organization – all on a global level. These skills are empowering our students with the opportunity to be leaders in our increasingly globalized 21st century.”

“The Summer Training Conference was a very special experience for all of us Fellows because we had the chance to share our personal stories, have discussions about our cultures, coordinate plans to collaborate during the upcoming year, and create meaningful relationships with each other.” wrote BİLGİ students, Torun and Tokaküçük. “The Summer Training Conference was a shared discovery and an exploration of who we are as people and leaders.”

The universities represented at the conference are University of Guyana (Georgetown, Guyana), Boston University (Boston, U.S.A.), Georgetown University (Washington, D.C., U.S.A.), National University of Sciences and Technology (Islamabad, Pakistan), University of Prishtina (Prishtina, Kosovo) and İstanbul Bilgi University (Istanbul, Turkey).

Through its partnership with OWYP, İstanbul Bilgi University will continue to demonstrate its leadership as it provides 21st century educational opportunities to Istanbul’s middle schools over the course of the upcoming academic year.

The vision of One World Youth Project is a just world built through the actions of generations of discerning, empathetic and empowered global citizens. OWYP partners with universities and university students to build mutual respect and understanding among youth through a unique structure that trains university students to facilitate a global competence curriculum in local secondary schools.