Second Annual Sikh Youth Leadership Institute Held in Ottawa

Ottawa (August 17, 2016): The World Sikh Organization of Canada held its second annual  Sikh Youth Leadership Institute (SYLI) in Ottawa this past weekend. After taking part in a rigorous application process, twenty Sikh youths between the ages of 18-25 were selected to take part in the program. The attendees came from coast to coast, including Newfoundland, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, and British Columbia. Two-thirds of this year's participants were Sikh women. 

Participants gathered in Ottawa from August 12-15 to receive leadership training in emotional intelligence, advocacy, community building, and social justice. Attendees also brainstormed social initiatives for their communities, and created plans for their implementation.  

On the first day, Puneet Mann, Director of Branch Customer Experience & Multicultural Banking at Scotiabank helped students understand and analyze different leadership styles. Workshops helped students develop their emotional intelligence and grow their self awareness.

The second day of the program consisted of workshops and panel discussions featuring prominent Sikhs who are leaders in their fields.  WSO legal counsel Balpreet Singh spoke about Sikhi and leadership; the business panel composed of  Suneet Singh Tuli, CEO of DataWind Inc; Dilprit Grewal, Senior Vice President of Risk Management at CIBC; and Gurmeet Singh Ahluwalia, Vice President of Structural Cost Transformation at Scotiabank, spoke to students about their experiences as successful Sikhs in the corporate world.

For the first time, the Sikh Youth Leadership Institute also hosted a political panel which included MP Raj Grewal, MPP Jagmeet Singh former MP and Minister of of State- Multiculturalism, Tim Uppal.  

Bhupinder Singh Hundal, media consultant and former manager at Omni News also lead a workshop on media engagement.  

WSO President Mukhbir Singh said, “once again, the Sikh Youth Leadership Institute drew some of the most talented and engaged Sikh youth from across Canada.  The WSO believes in the power of youth to transform our communities and organizations and so we are proud to be investing our time and resources into the Sikh Youth Leadership Institute.  We saw last year’s graduates go on to do amazing things and we have no doubt that with the skills and training they received, this year’s graduates will also have a major impact in the community.”

The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) is a non-profit organization with a mandate to promote and protect the interests of Canadian Sikhs as well as to promote and advocate for the protection of human rights for all individuals, irrespective of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, and social and economic status.

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