March 17, 2016

Student participating in international workshop

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale student Jordan “Jori” Bonadurer, a freshman English education major from Chicago, is spending part of her spring break as a leader and youth mentor at an international youth workshop in Indonesia. 

Bonadurer is one of just four university students from the United States chosen as a mentor for the Youth Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative regional exchange workshop, “YSEALI Generation: Oceans” March 16-20 in Jakarta, Indonesia. She received a scholarship, which included round-trip airfare and accommodations, to participate. 

Cultural Vistas, a non-profit organization that promotes international understanding and collaboration through professional exchange programs in the United States and abroad, and the United States Embassy in Jakarta organized the event. It is part of President Barrack Obama’s “Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative” (YSEALI.) 

As a high school student in 2014, Bonadurer participated in a three-week youth leadership tour of Singapore and Malaysia funded by the State Department and organized by Cultural Vistas. This learning experience led to her 2016 YSEALI workshop involvement. 

Bonadurer is an avid supporter of sustainability and her observation of progressive water management efforts in Singapore during her tour there resulted in her developing “New Thought,” a program about sustainable water usage that she has shared with local grade schools. She is now sharing her expertise and passion with the 64 young Southeast Asian leaders attending the workshop. 

These young adults, ages 18-25, represent the 10 nations that are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Bonadurer and the other three mentors are each providing support to 16 multi-national teams as they study issues affecting the region’s marine and coastal areas and develop plans, policies and solutions to address these problems. The workshop features lectures, interactive discussions, a field trip to an island in the Thousand Islands archipelago, and other activities.