From LA to Doha: A QFI Participant Shares her QLC Story

By Sarah Asiedu, Qatar Foundation International and QLC Presenter

Hi! My name is Sarah Asiedu and I am so proud and grateful to be able to say that I participated in the Yallah Commit to Action program which gave me the special opportunity to discuss my passion in two great leadership conferences. To this day,, I still remember when my Arabic teacher first talked about the program. As she was describing the program, I could was think about was my project on education inequality. I did not expect to make the program, but of course I still applied anyways. After I received my acceptance, I was so happy and could not wait to finally be trained as a future leader.

Throughout the several weeks in the Yallah Commit to Action program, I was taught on how to properly make an effective project which would focus on my chosen community. Through this process, I was able to form a group with people who shared the same passion as me! With the help of our lovely mentor, Jennifer, we established a project and were selected to go to Disneyland and present at the NYLC youth leadership conference. In this moment, I was proud of myself because not only did I speak in front of a big audience but I was able to make my point on how countless children in West Africa are deprived of a proper education – an issue that can prolong the poverty cycle and prevent economic growth. Little did I know that I would get an even bigger opportunity in October to present at the THIMUN Qatar leadership conference. As a person who was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, this was a big deal. Going to this conference meant that I could reconnect with friends and spread my message internationally. Although I was hesitant at first, accepting the offer to go to Qatar was a decision that will forever impact my life.

As a leader, it is important to be accustomed to different cultures around the world and that is exactly what I did. I am forever grateful to experience the culture and beauty Qatar offers. In addition, the conference allowed me to interact with other leaders who have done bigger things. I attended several sessions that varied in topics such as Model UN to the humanitarian crisis in Somalia. I enjoyed my time at the conference because it made me well rounded in learning different topics and issues around the world I would have never thought or imagined were going on. Not only did I get to meet new people I was able to form close relationships with others who would have a tremendous impact on me. Going to the conference only inspired me to do more; it constantly reminded me that as a leader, there is so much for me to do, so many more people to meet, and most importantly, so many more to help. Overall I loved my presentation with my peers in Qatar. We worked so hard and for us to spread our passion internationally meant so much. The audience was so intrigued we knew we wanted to push further. Going to the Qatar Leadership Conference was a spark for me and only motivated me to go further. In the future, I hope to expand my project and ideas to make it more effective. I also hope to (and will) reconnect with my Qatari peers to present in more conferences. This is only the beginning for me.