The Aspen Institute and Trustee Anne Welsh McNulty are pleased to announce this year’s winner of the $100,000 John P. McNulty Prize, Lana Abu Hijleh of the Middle East Leadership Initiative.
Lana is being honored for the impact of her leadership venture Youth Local Councils (YLC), a program that engages over 25,000 youth in the West Bank and has expanded to Honduras and Ukraine. Through voluntary bodies of elected youth, the Youth Local Councils enable young people to practice leadership and good governance, receive hundreds of hours of training, and propose, plan, and execute community projects.
“Youth Local Councils are exporting a model of civic engagement and democracy that is critically needed around the world,” said former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, chair of the McNulty Prize jury. “While faith in democracy itself may be declining, here, young people are choosing involvement over disengagement.”
YLC members serve two-year terms and receive hundreds of hours of training, and participate in budgetary and leadership decisions on real projects in their communities—from making municipal buildings accessible to people with disabilities, to building parks for families and communities, to collaborative advocacy campaigns that influence national policy. Alumni are now assuming positions of leadership in civil society and international nonprofit organizations, and in the public sector as elected city council members and deputy mayors.
Learn more about Lana and the McNulty Prize.
Please join us in congratulating Lana and the other Laureates by using #McNultyPrize on Twitter and Facebook. The Aspen Institute’s Twitter account will Periscope a conversation with Lana and other Laureates at 6:45 pm EST on Wednesday, November 8.