Lviv welcomes Ukrainian Leadership Academy Branch

LVIV, UKRAINE — October 29, 2016

Lviv became the first city in the west of Ukraine to house a branch of a new-format educational institution – Ukrainian Leadership Academy (ULA). 40 secondary school graduates (17-20 years old) from throughout Ukraine will study for 10 months under a new format, which combines physical, academic and intellectual development and growth.

The aim of the Academy is to unite young people with high potential for leadership, and provide them with the best training and tools for self-development. While studying, students discover a deep understanding of national identity, find their will to benefit their country, reveal their skills and talent, and pick up the sphere, good for further work and progress.

Dennis A. Johnson, Chairman of the Board of the Western NIS Enterprise Fund, said: “We are very pleased with the opportunity to support the Ukrainian Leadership Academy. In cooperation with the USAID we have initiated the first one in Kyiv a year ago. A lifetime experience, said many of us. I wish we could have the opportunity to study at such Academy”.

Jaroslawa Z. Johnson, President and CEO of the Western NIS Enterprise Fund, said: “Lviv has always meant a lot for Ukraine, so it was purposefully chosen to be a home for one of the four new Leadership Academies, opened during the second year of the program. This city has its own identity, ambiance and dynamics. I’m sure that forty young, talented and vigorous ULA-Lviv students will enliven these dynamics with their spirit”.

Tuition is free of charge, with only a nominal admission fee of UAH 2,000. Remaining student costs (for accommodation, educational program, study trips, dining services, health insurance, implementation of social projects at local and national levels) are covered by the Western NIS Enterprise Fund.

David Cowles, Senior Private Enterprise Advisor, USAID Bureau for Europe and Eurasia Affairs, commented: “As we discussed the creation of a series of leadership academies across the country back in 2014, my first reaction was: what exactly is a leadership academy? A year ago in Kyiv I had a chance to hear students describe the program and their motivation to join. I was impressed by their confidence, energy and their enthusiasm. And I had no doubt that I was talking to the future leaders of Ukraine”.

Students of the Academy study six days a week, one of which is dedicated to volunteering. The area of their voluntary work is chosen according to their own interests, but they implement joint initiatives as well. In particular, ULA-Lviv students have already contributed to the public improvement of parks and lend assistance to organizations that work with orphans and youth with disabilities. The program includes numerous study trips within Lviv region, Ukraine and abroad. In addition, participants develop and implement their own projects aimed to benefit local community.

Lilia Hrynevych, Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine, said: “The ULA concept is priceless for us. Ukraine witnesses the first real launch of the informal education sector, which endows our youth with a range of possibilities, which formal educational system fails to provide”.

Oleh Syniutka, Head of Lviv Regional State Administration, stated: “I’m very pleased that Lviv region welcomes such a unique and innovative educational institution, and I am very grateful to the founders. I am convinced that the students here will enjoy exceptional opportunities and make a huge step forward during their training. It will help them be successful in future and inspire others for achievements”.

The first ULA was launched in Kyiv in September, 2015 with 39 students. This year five Academies in different regions of Ukraine took up more than 220 students. Participants were chosen among 7,000 applicants from all Ukrainian regions and Crimea. During this competition, candidates could not choose one of the five Academies to study at – the division principle would not let them study in the region of origin.

Roman Tychkivskyy, Head of the Ukrainian Leadership Academy, said: “This is the second year of the Academy in Ukraine, and we believe that even more challenges will come up. After all, we’re witnessing the birth of something that will serve our people for decades – a community of young leaders. Now it comprises 39 graduates and 220 new students – boys and girls, who are ready to bear responsibility for our home today. And it serves as a proof of great potential of our people”.

Apart from the Lviv region, regional ULA branches are also established in Poltava, Mykolaiv and Kharkiv. By 2020, the ULA National Office in Kyiv plans to establish 25 Academies around Ukraine – one in each region.

The future of Ukraine starts here!