On April 13, the Little Rock Workforce Development Board (LRWDB) reached an agreement with Global Ties Arkansas to serve as Professional Host of record for a participant in the Young Southeast Asian Leadership Initiative (YSEALI) exchange program.
Ms. “Yi” Thing Khor from Penang, Malaysia arrived with a YSEALI group on April 22. Ms. Khor is involved in the Professional Fellows Program of the U.S. State Department. She visited Arkansas for four weeks during late April and May, spending time with multiple organizations. Ms. Khor has worked with Arus Academy, an educational social enterprise, since 2017. She taught classes on maker education, led girls in STEM initiatives, and managed initiatives to elevate digital literacy (especially coding) in Malaysia. Recently, she transitioned to a role as a Human Resource Manager, where she plans and oversees talent development initiatives, coaching circles, and end-to-end employee experiences.
Ms. Khor shadowed LRWDB Executive Director, W. J. Monagle, for four weeks. During this time, she explored interests in business development and economic entrepreneurship, focusing on local universities and governments and how they work with the private sector to encourage and support budding entrepreneurs. She worked toward several professional goals, including how to implement learning strategies to build an inclusive work environment and how to empower middle leadership in the workplace, particularly in social enterprises/NGOs.
She also stayed with a host family and participated in group excursions to the Capitol to learn about history and politics, to a rice farm to see agricultural practices, and to cultural destinations like Pinnacle Mountain, Petit Jean, and the city of Memphis.
As a capstone project, Ms. Khor developed an “outbound project” with her mentor, W. J. Monagle, to apply what she learned. To date, twelve award-winning YSEALI capstone projects, co-developed with Arkansas mentors, have been funded for implementation by the U.S. Department of State.