Friday, July 22

The Millennial Trains Project: A Transcontinental Conference On Tracks

from millennialtrain.co
Whoever designed this cabin is a genius!
     
I am very honored to announce that I will be one of the 50 millennials accepted into the very selective Millennial Trains Project (MTP). This year, there are 2 journeys with 25 participants each: Change & Unity.

Basically, the MTP is a whole new way to conference. Participants take part in talks & workshops from distinguished mentors inside a metallic retro train slowly moving across the US. We'll be able to pick the best minds in the US. Furthermore, the train will also make several stops along the way where participants will get the chance to learn from local leaders/organisations as well as run a personal project during those stopovers.

My project involves going to PittsburghChicagoAlbuquerqueKansas City, & Los Angeles:
1) Learn about efforts to bridge disparities in education with at-risk communities (low income, minority, refugee, immigrant, etc). I will visit individual/s, school/s or organisation/s, learn the what, why, & how of their program/s, & share everything I've learned online so that my fellow educators around the world can learn too.

If you know of an individual, school, or organisation in PittsburghChicagoAlbuquerqueKansas City, or Los Angeles who are doing great things for their local communities, PLEASE CONNECT US! I would love to learn from them & share their great work with the world!

2) Propose a Youth Video Exchange Program between students in the US & Malaysia. It's not fair if all I did was take from the cities that I'm visiting. I want to leave them with something that will be useful to them. Therefore, I will be extending a video exchange project invitation to the school students/teachers in those cities.

If you know a school teacher who might be interested in being a mentor to a team of their students & see the students develop into Global Citizens with Multicultural Literacy & an International Perspective, PLEASE CONNECT US! I would love to invite them to sign their students up for the Youth Video Exchange Program.

This is my profile on the MTP website.
      
In this blog post, I write about the MTP application process & how I made my application. Hopefully, this will be helpful to you as you draft a successful application.

The Application Process

Check out the 25 participants in this year's "Change" journey!
We come from different fields & will be running amazingly diverse projects.
I'm looking forward to learning from each & every one of them!
      
The whole project is designed to activate the participant. Even before the journey, participants have to write a project/initiative proposal &, once that is accepted, run a crowd-funding campaign to raise the $5000 necessary to be part of the journey. Additionally, participants have to make their own arrangements to run their project at the cities MTP will visit.

Fulbrighters go through a separate application & selection process. We will receive an email in May from the Institute of International Education (IIE) to apply for this enrichment activity. We have to come up with a research proposal & also a social media strategy to share what we have learned from the journey.

If the application is accepted, the US Dept of State will cover the journey including the $5000 fee + transportation costs. 6 Fulbright representatives have been chosen for this program out of each world geographic region since 2014.


When Preparing Your Application

For Fulbrighters, applications will be evaluated on the quality of your research proposal, your plan for public and social media engagement during the trip, and your leadership potential. The project should be based on your field of study in the U.S.
This was how I figured out my application. I hope that this will be helpful to you.

1) Figure Out A Project You Are Uniquely Suited To Run

Prior to matriculation at Columbia, I taught at a secluded school in the middle of the jungle & labored to provide equal access to quality education & exposure to low-income minority students who do not speak the language used at school at home. I see similar challenges in other parts of my country & wondered what the US was doing to bridge their disparities. Thus, a topic for my project was born.

2) It's Not Just About Taking. Figure Out What You Are Uniquely Suited To Give

Also, I didn't think that it was fair that I merely take the knowledge that these communities I'll be visiting have spent time & effort developing. I wanted to give something back to them in return. The was nothing that I personally could contribute to them. However, I love my country & there is a lot of good there that is worth sharing. Thus, the Youth Video Exchange Project was born.

3) There's No Such Thing As An Overnight Success

If you take a look at the profiles of the other participants in the program, you'll see that there is no such thing as an overnight success. These people have been developing their interests long before they wrote their project proposal & have a demonstrated level of proficiency & effectiveness in what they are working on.

Don't start from scratch. Think about what you've been doing all these years & figure out how you can turn it into a project proposal. Perhaps all you need to do is just pivot. All the best on your application!


Conclusion: Someone Needs To Cetak Rompak This In Malaysia


Do you remember the saying, "tak kenal maka tak cinta?" I say I love Malaysia, but honestly, I have never even explored many parts of Sarawak, even though I constantly pound my chest & call it my Ibu Pertiwiku. I've only made brief stops in KelantanTerengganu, & Sabah. There are plenty of hidden gems in the less popular parts of our country. And, I'm not just talking about tourist destinations; I'm talking about the people & getting to really know them. We may be a small country but we are very divided. Don't deny it. Racial & religious tensions. East & West Malaysia.

Brexit is our biggest warning. Our former colonizers have shot themselves in the foot. Their nation is divided. The orang putih are not always right. We need to do something to bring our nation together. If not for ourselves, then for the up & coming generations. Someone needs to cetak rompak this program in Malaysia. Involve all territories. Involve all races. Visit different parts of the country. Visit NGOs. Volunteer for a cause. Learn about politics. Learn about religions. Learn about different cultures. Ride trains, buses, boats, whatever it takes. It's time for us to stop being the proverbial "katak dibawah tempurung" & truly embody "Malaysia truly Asia."

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