CHAA, partners to host first annual Himalayan Youth Leadership Summit

Nisha Sunnyvale outreach.jpg

Music, workshops, keynote speakers, fashion, performances, and prizes are just a few of the things that youth will enjoy this coming Saturday, August 20, from 12pm-midnight, at the Himalayan Youth Leadership Summit at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland. Co-sponsored by Sahayeta, CHAA, Bhutanese Community in California, Tibetan Association of Northern California, CAN-USA and the Center for Asian American Media, this first-of-its-kind Bay Area summit aims to bring together Tibetan, Nepali, and Bhutanese youth and provide them with valuable workshops, networking and career development opportunities.

The event is designed for youth to not only discuss important community issues, but also to learn from one another as well as professionals, according to Nisha Thapa, President of Sahayeta

“During the summit, we will be encouraging young people to envision their capacity for positive change in the community as well as changes back home,” Thapa said. “We want them to learn from one another’s ideas, struggles, and issues. We also hope youth will share their talents openly, which will hopefully allow them to find a professional to connect with who can become a potential mentor.”

In addition to discussing youth issues, Thapa hopes that participants will come away with a newfound network of support, source of inspiration, and supply of confidence.

“After the event, I want the youth to say, ‘We have a community here,’“ Thapa said. “I hope that attendees can learn from each other, not feel isolated, and meet other youth feeling the same way they do, and provide mutual support.”

CHAA has been working with the Tibetan, Nepali, and Bhutanese communities through its API Connections program in Alameda County for the past year. The issues and needs of these communities are largely unseen, according to Sean Kirkpatrick, Associate Director for CHAA, and hosting a summit for youth from these communities will allow them to connect with one another, providing a valuable opportunity to forge new friendships and build life skills.

“Our goal is to support development of youth leadership within the Bhutanese, Tibetan, and Nepalese communities while fostering a setting for bringing youth together to build relationships across communities,” said Kirkpatrick “I hope that this deepens CHAA’s ability to support these communities more meaningfully, and strengthens our relationships with partner organizations working with them.”

By hosting a summit, the six sponsoring agencies hope to provide participants with a space in which their voices can be heard, as well as their skills and confidence to share their voices in the future.

In addition to panels and workshops, evening entertainment will be provided, including a singing challenge, designer showcase, and performance by renowned flutist Manose Singh.

To register and for more information, please visit or contact Nisha Thapa at (415) 297-7643.

Supporters and prospective participants are encouraged to view the Himalayan Youth Leadership Summit video and photos for outreach to both Bhutanese and Nepali youth for the summit.

(Photo: Nisha Thapa, President of, doing outreach for the First Annual Himalayan Youth Leadership Summit to Nepali youth in Sunnyvale, CA. Credit Sean Kirkpatrick.)