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The President's Young Professionals Program of Liberia Celebrates
Five Years of Service

Dear friends,

When the PYPP first started, people doubted that a civil service program for young professionals could make a difference in Liberia. Young people were viewed as a problem that Liberia needed to solve, and it was near impossible to find talented young professionals after civil wars severely disrupted our educational system. Our government, too, was seen as a broken institution, making civil service an unappealing career.


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As we celebrated the PYPP’s fifth anniversary in Monrovia last week, it became clearer than ever that things have changed. We’ve shown our government and fellow Liberians that young people are not a problem, but rather a solution to the many problems facing Liberia. And we've proven how critical a strong civil service is to Liberia's future as a country of development and prosperity.

In our first five years, we’ve recruited, trained, and placed 77 PYPs in government positions where they continue to strengthen the capacity of 15 ministries and 7 agencies today. PYPs have even risen to senior-level roles such as Director for Passports and Visas and Assistant Minister for Youth Development.

What stands out about our group of 77 PYPs -- including me, as a member of Class I -- is that we were not placed in government because our aunt worked in the government or our father knew the right person. We come from all of Liberia’s 15 counties, half of us are men and half of us are women, and we were chosen through a transparent and merit-based selection process that ensures we’re bringing the best to Liberia’s government.

We gathered in Monrovia last week to celebrate five years of strengthening Liberia. Current and alumni PYPs, senior government officials, and other supporters joined us for a series of events including a ceremony with remarks from Liberia’s Vice President Joseph N. Boakai and US Ambassador to Liberia Deborah Malac, two interactive job skills workshops with graduating university students, and a parade through the streets of Monrovia that concluded with sports games. You can see photos from our 5th anniversary celebration below.

While we’re extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished, we are most of all excited for what’s next. We will begin recruiting the next class of 20 PYPS next month, and aim to place 100 additional young professionals in key government roles over the next five years.

As Ambassador Malac noted in her remarks  to PYPs, “We’re all working together to build the best Liberia possible, and I am confident you are capable of making that a reality.”

Many thanks for your continued support,

Hh Zaizay
Executive Director
PYPs join Liberia's Vice President Joseph N. Boakai at an official ceremony celebrating the program's accomplishments over its first five years.
 
“The PYPP is one of the best programs for Liberia I’ve seen. It is helping to groom young people with professional skills to show their love for this country by making a difference in the government.” 

- Vice President Joseph N. Boakai
PYPs Hh Zaizay (left), Lucia Gibson (right), Johnson Williams, and Julius Saye Keh-nel led interactive workshops with graduating students at Stella Maris Polytechnic on resume writing, essay writing, and sitting job interviews.

PYPs from each class held a press conference with members of the media to share insight on how the program has shaped their own professional development and how they feel they have helped strengthen capacity in the government of Liberia.
PYPs held a parade through the streets of Monrovia that concluded with basketball, kickball, and soccer matches against the Financial Management Training Program of Liberia. 
While we were celebrating in Liberia, H.E. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf also recommitted her support and shared her thanks for the PYPP's work from New York in a meeting with Hon. George Werner (Minister of Education), Hon. Eugene Nagbe (Minister of Youth and Sports), International Advisory Board (IAB) Chair Betsy Williams, IAB member Sarah Kovner, and Hon. Saah Charles N'Tow (Deputy Minister for Youth Development), pictured left to right.
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