“A year ago, I planned to do my bachelor’s degree and go abroad. But now I know that I will stay” – The graduate of the Ukrainian Leadership Academy second enrollment

— June 27, 2017

On June 27, 2017, Kyiv witnessed the second graduation of the Ukrainian Leadership Academy. The 10-month training helped 192 students of the five ULA branches build up their vision of future and gave a chance to explore Ukraine in a more thorough way.

“Last year I enrolled at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy with the EIT results that allowed me to study at the tuition-free basis. I planned to do my bachelor’s degree and go abroad. But I was not sure whether the qualification in economics was my true goal. That’s why I decided to spend this year in the ULA – a university will wait. I’ve chosen the same special field of study, but now I know that I will stay in Ukraine. There are a lot of areas where you can fulfill yourself and create something really worthwhile,” said Illia Platukhin, Kyiv ULA branch graduate of 2017.

In 2017, 200 students completed their courses in five Academy branches: in Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv, Mykolaiv and Poltava. They all gathered at the graduation ceremony in Kyiv, accompanied by their parents, mentors, and teachers who had been working with them for 10 months of study.

“This year I worked directly with students and the team, had a lot of opportunities to watch and participate in student events, and witnessed the ULA’s transformational impact on students. Over the past 10 months, they have grown significantly. They’ve broadened their horizons and found their way to better understanding of their place in the world. They became wiser; they developed close relationships with each other despite regional, linguistic and religious differences. They’ve learned more about democratic values and processes and at the same time learned how to express their own point of view. They’ve learned more about history and culture, which strengthened their sense of conscious social attitude. They’ve studied the role of ethics and personal responsibility both in everyday life and in public administration and entrepreneurship,” says Jaroslawa Johnson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Western NIS Enterprise Fund.

Summing up the results of the academic year, the Head of the ULA Roman Tychkivskyy noted: “Over the past three years Ukraine has brought up a new generation. It is a generation of Ukrainians full of energy and responsibility for action. The generation, which fosters mutual trust. Their beneficence lies not only at the level of sentiment, but also at the level of responsible and conscious will, aimed to turn their country into a land of freedom and dignity. We feel our duty – to provide these young people with as many tools and resources as possible so that they can bring to life the common dream that unites us today. “

While studying, the students eagerly communicate with lots of practitioners: entrepreneurs, innovators, and statesmen – in order to know first-hand how young people can make their own contribution to the processes of change in Ukraine, economic development and promotion of reforms.

“Do not be leaders in the future, be leaders today. Make decisions – do not be afraid that you know little or not enough. You’re wrong in both cases. But even if you lack knowledge – Ukraine today desperately needs people who can make mistakes, people who can create, and people who do not feel guilty for the past,” says Uliana Suprun, acting Minister of Health of Ukraine, in her appeal to the graduates.

Students’ own projects also constitute an important part of the study, through which they learn to implement their own initiatives, work in a team, seek out community partners, and take responsibility for the result.

“The global world is so huge that you can find yourself in it – in any part of it or in any country. There are no borders, there is a right of choice, but this choice is the responsibility of each and every one of us. I want each of you to understand that we have a great responsibility in every area we work in,” stressed Natalia Mykolska, Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine, Trade Representative of Ukraine, in her appeal to the graduates.

The Academy program is designed to develop the students’ initiative and independence, help them choose the direction of their further development, foster commitment to the community and responsibility for their contribution to the social development, build up a devotion to Ukraine, develop a deep understanding of the social processes that take place in the country, and facilitate a desire to work for the sake of positive change in the future. During the year, students have completed in-depth training in areas not covered by school program: psychology, communication, philosophy, financial management, foreign languages, political science. They had a chance to meet and learn from well-known and successful Ukrainians such as Pavlo Sheremeta, Valerii Pekar, Yaroslav Hrytsak, Jaroslawa Johnson, Andrii Zelinskyi, Natalia Popovych, Mykhailo Vynnytskyi and others. The students spend a lot of time volunteering, helping community-based organizations and social institutions. They made more than a dozen regional trips and research trips through Ukraine, as well as The Expedition Trip to the EU countries – a mission of national diplomacy aimed at promoting the positive image of Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Leadership Academy (ULA) is aimed to bring up future leaders of Ukraine. The graduates of the first ULA enrollment of 2016 were 39 young people 17-18 years old from all over Ukraine, including Crimea. The main donor of the Academy is Western NIS Enterprise Fund, funded by the U.S. government via the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Creating yourself – creating Ukraine!

Every tomorrow starts today