Welcome to Y2Y Community


a multifaceted network of young professionals dedicated to
engaging, inspiring, and empowering young people in global development.

Who We Are

Mission Statement

Mission Statement

Y2Y is a community of young professionals within the World Bank Group (WBG), as well as external partners, who provide a reservoir of fresh ideas and perspectives to contribute to the WBG’s vision of “achieving a world free of poverty”.

What We Do

What We Do

Y2Y coordinates events and activities that promote the community’s objectives including:
Youth Innovation Fund, Mentorship program, Youth Voices, Global Youth Climate Network, Global Youth Conference, Networking opportunities, Community service, and many more!

Programs

Global Youth Climate Network

Global Youth Climate Network

GYCN is a new Y2Y initiative that aims to act as a catalyst for youth, both at the Bank and throughout the world, to work together to develop and implement initiatives that raise awareness and mitigate climate change. We see climate change as the defining issue of this generation and seek the opportunity to amplify awareness and take action in partnership with other organizations working in this field. Initiatives planned for FY18 include the launch of both the GYCN Global Ambassador Program and the GYCN Climate-smart Youth Entrepreneurship Fund, as well as climate-related events and fundraisers throughout the year including the GYCN Launch Happy Hour, a Guinness World Record Attempt, and the Climate Run 5K/15K charity run.

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Youth Innovation Fund (YIF)

Youth Innovation Fund (YIF)

The YIF provides an opportunity for the WBG youth to design and implement development projects around the world with the purpose of channeling fresh ideas into WBG operations while engaging and empowering youth. Grants are given to project teams on a competitive basis, bringing together individuals from different WBG units and countries, to promote innovation, create impact, and leverage resources from the new generation of development professionals.

Mentorship Program

Mentorship Program

The Y2Y Mentorship program seeks to empower youth employees as they embark on their careers through fostering one-on-one relationships between youth WBG employees (including consultants) and senior staff. Since its launch in 2007, the program has supported over 500 mentorship pairs on a voluntary and informal basis, which has led to strong, meaningful professional relationships across the WBG.

Youth Voices

Youth Voices

The Y2Y “Youth Voices” program was first initiated by the WBG office in Lima, Peru in 2002 as Youth New Voices (Voces Nuevas), a voluntary advisory group composed of 23 non-staff young Peruvian men and women from various backgrounds. The program was so successful that during a visit to Peru in November 2002, the then World Bank President James Wolfensohn encouraged the participants to prepare a proposal, based on the Peru model, that could be replicated in other countries. Following his visit and recommendation, since 2002, the Youth Voices Initiative, nurtured by Y2Y leadership, has formed active chapters in Brazil, Georgia, Jordan, and Lebanon.

The program uses a hyper-localized approach in which Youth Voices Chapters (composed of external youth volunteers who are led by a country-based World Bank staff member) advise on and provide a youth-focused angle to World Bank lending operations and analytical work in the corresponding country office where a local chapter is established. By integrating youths’ contributions and addressing the challenges they specifically face, this will enable World Bank interventions to be more youth-informed. This directly contributes to and aligns with the Y2Y mission of “empowering, inspiring, and engaging youth around the world.”

World Bank Group country staff who are interested in launching a local Youth Voices Chapter within their country should contact Y2YYouthVoices@worldbankgroup.org.

Events

                Who can be a climate ambassador? Anyone aged 35 and under We are looking for ambassadors from all around the world If you are already involved in climate related actions that’s great (but not essential)! What does it...
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Submit your application through the online form: https://goo.gl/forms/wFilCHMlEDInrqhy2 Deadline to apply is October 25, 2018.
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Get excited for the Summer Soirée organized by the World Bank Group Youth-to-Youth (Y2Y) Community. Come enjoy a fun evening on the rooftop of Lost Society while interacting with other young professionals from the DMV area and dancing to some DJ beats. By purchasing your ...
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Testimonials

I joined the World Bank at a relatively young age, at 24, and I strongly believe that if I stand tall today, I stand on the shoulders of others – senior staff who have mentored me over the years.

Manager, Development Finance

Bhuvan Bhatnagar

Bhuvan Bhatnagar

Our Team

Holti Banka

Holti Banka

Y2Y Co-Chair

Holti lives by the motto, “climb high, climb far, your goal the sky, your aim the star”. He has a diverse background (born in Albania, grew up in Greece, and has been living in the U.S. over the past 12 years) and in addition to focusing on financial inclusion as part of his work at the World Bank, he teaches Macroeconomics, publishes in various academic and media outlets, promotes the Balkan music culture in the DC area through DJ-ing and enjoys Latin dancing as a hobby.

Layla Shahidi

Layla Shahidi

Finance Chair

Layla is excited to connect her professional experience in Finance with Y2Y as a channel to empower the ambitious youth across the World Bank Group and beyond.

Yibing Tang

Yibing Tang

Communication Co-Chair

Yibing’s current interests lie in visual design, machine learning, and Pure Barre.

Sandra Jensson

Sandra Jensson

Communications Co-Chair

In her spare time, Sandra loves to spend time with family and friends, discover new places and baking.

Ashley Cohen

Ashley Cohen

Communication Co-Chair

Outside of work Ashley can be found catching the latest advance movie screening or enjoying a cycle class.

Stefan Wolf

Stefan Wolf

Communications Co-Chair

Stefan enjoys exploring new cultures and agrees with Mark Twain who said: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”
Katima Saleh

Katima Saleh

Communications Co-Chair

Katima is an international hybrid who is passionate about mass media, marketing and journalism. She believes in giving a voice to those who matter.

Coralie Vannoye

Coralie Vannoye

Global Youth Climate Network Co-Chair

Coralie believes that “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

Ekta Dudani

Ekta Dudani

Global Youth Climate Network Co-Chair

Ekta believes that climate change will be the central challenge faced by the world in the 21st century. The upheavals that will result from the warming of the planet will include mass migration of climate refugees, drought and food insecurity, water shortages, an increase in the severity of natural disasters like hurricanes and floods, and the degradation of non-climate change resilient infrastructure. She believes that it will be the youth of today that will respond to these crises of tomorrow. Thus she advocates for raising awareness of these issues among youth and training the next generation of leaders who will address these ecological challenges.

Daniel Diez

Daniel Diez

Global Youth Climate Network Co-Chair

Energy engineer. Climate Change fanatic. Passionate wine taster. Daniel strongly believes that ending the fossil fuel era is one of the biggest 21st Century Challenges.

Keelye Hanmer

Keelye Hanmer

Global Youth Climate Network Co-Chair

Keelye is passionate about raising awareness and mitigating climate change and risks. She is a strong believer in global citizenship and the power of youth to effect change.

Rui Xu

Rui Xu

Global Youth Climate Network Co-Chair

Rui is passionate about economics, governance, and climate change. She believes in “be the change you want to see in the world”.

Beatriz Lougedo

Beatriz Lougedo

Global Youth Climate Network Co-Chair

Bea firmly believes every small effort counts in fighting climate change. As a young sustainable development practitioner, she considers sustainability will not be achieved without the needed paradigm shift. New generations and those to come should have a say in environmental decision making.

Nicole Bouris

Nicole Bouris

Mentorship Co-Chair

Nicole is half Lebanese and half Italian, hence food is central to her life! Other than food, Nicole is into meditation and running: ‘Mens sana in corpore sano”.

Love Ghunney

Love Ghunney

Mentorship Co-Chair

Love is passionate about governance, empowering the youth and is obsessed with discovering new adventures.

Saleema Vellani

Saleema Vellani

Mentorship Co-Chair

Saleema is passionate about empowering the developing world through entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology. She is also a polyglot and foodie!

Laura Gomez Cadena

Laura Gomez Cadena

Partnership and Events Co-Chair

Laura is a Colombian national who is passionate about facilitating initiatives that bring together organizations from a variety of backgrounds to achieve common goals that help communities of similar interests. Recent initiatives she worked on include partnerships involving the Colombian Embassy in Washington DC, the IFC, and The George Washington University. In her spare time she likes reading, skating, playing tennis, and attending yoga and Zumba classes. She gets her greatest enjoyment from traveling, spending time with family, and practicing her French.

Maria Emilia Sparks

Maria Emilia Sparks

Mentorship Co-Chair

Mare is from Buenos Aires, Argentina, loves to travel and to expose herself to challenges and adventures. Mare strongly believed in leading by example and in the importance of having fun.

 

Meenakshiyogini Balachandran

Meenakshiyogini Balachandran

Mentorship Co-Chair

Yogini, when not conducting medical camps or teaching underprivileged students as Director- Community Service, Rotary Club of Madras Next Gen, enjoys travelling, listening to people, and singing. During her stint in Canada, she has also taught and mentored university students on learning English as a second language. She is passionate about sharing knowledge and finding solutions.

Danielle Nkoum

Danielle Nkoum

Mentorship Co-Chair

Danielle is passionate about people and communities development. Her vision is that every child will have access to quality affordable education and training, and every young person will find a decent job and will be capable of creating work opportunities for themselves and others.

Jihane Bergaoui

Jihane Bergaoui

Youth Voices Co-Chair

Jihane recently relocated from Washington, DC to Beirut, Lebanon where she spends much of her free time feasting on Lebanese Mezze and exploring her new home base. As an Arab-American woman, Jihane is very passionate about supporting countries in the Middle East and North Africa to reach their full potential.

Menan Omar

Menan Omar

Youth Voices Co-Chair

Menan believes that youths can provide creative and oftentimes alternative perspectives on development practices, which largely explains her interest in becoming a part of the Youth Voices Committee. She also has a passion for singing, traveling and running.

Leonard Ewang Ngumba Wolloh

Leonard Ewang Ngumba Wolloh

Youth Voices Co-Chair

Leonard would like to see poor youth get more access to life changing academic, entrepreneurial and professional opportunities. Coming from a humble background, he understands the need to accompany these youth who are often very talented, but cannot excel due to lack of access to the right resources and to equal opportunities.

Julia Roseman

Julia Roseman

Partnership and Events Co-Chair

Julia is passionate about making economics relatable across populations, and in pairing macroeconomic development with realistic policy initiatives. Outside of work, she is an avid runner, traveler, and concert-goer.

 

Olayinka (Yinka) Bisiriyu

Olayinka (Yinka) Bisiriyu

Partnerships and Events Co-Chair

Yinka believes in self-discovery and maximizing potential in every season of life, including youth.  When she is not using financial tools to analyze power utilities, she enjoys exploring new cultures, traveling, running, spending time with family and is passionate about good food and the art of plating.

Otylia Babiak

Otylia Babiak

Partnerships and Events Co-Chair

Outside of work and courses, Otylia enjoys gardening, biking, dancing, and dreaming up business ideas.

Eliud Cheruiyot Chemweno

Eliud Cheruiyot Chemweno

Partnership and Events Co-Chair

Passionate about working with the youth, everything Africa, digital finance, blockchain and agritech.

Luigi Lannutti

Luigi Lannutti

Youth Innovation Fund Co-Chair

If he wasn’t at IFC, Luigi would be an investigator of the human mind.

April Yin

April Yin

Youth Innovation Fund Co-Chair

Outside of work, April enjoys music (currently trying to learn the guitar), cooking / baking, and catching up with friends.

Chen-Chen Tung

Chen-Chen Tung

Youth Innovation Fund Co-Chair

Chen-Chen thinks “It is the ultimate luxury to combine passion and contribution, but it’s also a clear path to happiness.”

Vince Bui

Vince Bui

Youth Innovation Fund Co-Chair

Be the change you want to see.

Background

The idea of “Y2Y” was first discussed on September 18, 2003, after the World Bank Group President,
Mr. James Wolfensohn had met with youth from more than 70 countries convening at the World
Bank’s Youth Development and Peace Conference in Sarajevo. At this conference, President
Wolfensohn committed the WBG to mainstreaming youth participation and engagement, which
prompted a few young people at the Bank to start defining the role of young people inside the World
Bank Building on the momentum of this event, Y2Y was founded on February 27, 2004, with the
objective of providing young people in the WBG with a greater institutional role.

For more than 12 years, our program has provided the WBG access to the wealth of knowledge and
innovation as we contribute to the youth agenda and the broader WBG twin goals. Headed by a
volunteer Steering Committee consisting of WBG staff, Y2Y continues to promote youth ideas and
ideals into WBG operations and provides a fresh look at how its members can end extreme poverty
and create shared prosperity through its primary programs: Youth Innovation Fund (YIF),
Partnership and Events, Mentorship, and Youth Voices.

A FEW OF OUR PARTNERS

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