Young women aspire to be leaders, care for others

By October 4, 2019 October 7th, 2019 Fulbright News
(From left) US ambassador to Malaysia Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir, Wyonna Viven Jeprinus, Evy Evienna Layah, Nurul Asyigin Ahmad Amran and Deputy Women, Community and Family Development Minister Hannah Yeoh.

KUALA LUMPUR: Evy Evienna Layah wore a lively face as she listened intently to Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh speak passionately about becoming future leaders.

The 16-year-old Sarawakian was among three teenagers huddled around a small table listening to Yeoh and US Ambassador to Malaysia Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir at the National Women’s Empowerment Camp held at Brickfields Asia College 2 on Friday.

The camp was organised by the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) programme.

Under the programme, recent American college graduates are sent as English teaching assistants in primary and secondary schools or universities overseas where English is not their first language.

After all, she loves travelling, although the cost of flying has hampered her passion.

“I’ve always wanted to be a flight attendant to explore the world outside of Malaysia and witness more amazing things, so this event is really good,” the SMK Riak student told FMT.

The talk had a bigger impact on Wyonna Viven Jeprinus, 16, who hails from Sabah.

Initially undecided over what to do with her life, Wyonna – who frequently asked Yeoh and Kamala questions – now aspires to hold a leadership position.

“I want to become a leader so that I can inspire our fellow women with my speeches, just like how Hannah Yeoh did today,” she said.

Meanwhile, Nurul Asyigin Ahmad Amran, 16, from SMK Padang Enggang in Kelantan, said she aspires to become a doctor.

“I want to help the society and people in need by doing volunteer work,” she said.

The 10-month camp, ending today, is aimed at empowering the young women by helping them improve their English.

Rachel Jacoby.

One of the teachers involved in the programme, Rachel Jacoby, from the United States, said they hope the participants will be confident and comfortable conversing in English.

“English isn’t just a boring subject you learn in schools, but it is crucial in our students’ everyday lives and their future,” she said.

*Extracted from