Global Youth Development Initiative Seeking Volunteer Peer and Professional Mentors

In less stable environments, opportunities for professional growth can be limited. Particularly in economies where the demand for professional work is limited, it can be difficult to learn the skills and social cues that are requisites for success in the modern job market.

The Global Youth Development Initiative aims to step in where such a gap exists. Basing the pilot program in Afghanistan, the GYDI seeks to connect students from across Afghanistan at the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) in Kabul with mentors across the globe and across various disciplines. Connections unlikely to have been made without such an initiative, the GYDI will act as the platform for these students to find the professional and cultural frames of reference they need to be competitive in the global economy. Where the supply of mentors from professional disciplines may be limited in Afghanistan, our program aims to facilitate the conversations and relationships necessary for these students to build strong networks and achieve their professional goals.

This mentoring program will highlight the one-year commitment of mentors and mentees, providing monthly themes, goals, and evaluation criteria. The GYDI is tailored to the cultural sensitivities and social climate of the community we are servicing, and will ensure exceptional organization and structure to best suit mentor and mentee needs. The GYDI seeks to ensure that both parties will graduate the program with a sense of accomplishment and confidence.

The Global Youth Development Initiative is looking for university students who may be interested in participating in a peer-to-peer mentoring parallel program.

Interested individuals should contact Tom Valenti, a longtime volunteer and mentor with the Illinois Tech Global Leaders Program, at 312.803.0472 or