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Parami students participated in NextGenChange Youth Conference with youth from different communities

Updated: Jun 18

Group photo of youth conference's participants

Academic success and good performance with curricular coursework are paramount in higher education. However, this does not undermine the weight of the importance of civic engagement and extracurricular activities. Embracing this spirit, Parami University has been providing its students with many extra-curricular opportunities in various forms, including international exchange programs, cultural exchange activities, internships, workshops, and grants. Fulfilling service learning is one of the graduation requirements for Parami undergraduate students. 

Parami University has been cultivating the important mindset of extracurricular and civic engagement among its students, encouraging students to participate in different activities, both within and outside the university. Htet Myat Phone Naing and Khu David Ta Keh, two Parami undergraduate students from the Class of 2027, are also among those civically active students. The students participated in the 8th Youth Conference hosted by BEAM Education Foundation in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in early April with 90 youths from communities in Myanmar and Thailand.

The 8th Youth Conference was organized under the theme “NextGenChange”. The conference aimed to create positive social changes for the betterment of the next generation through friendly meetings, learning, and exchanging design thinking among youths from Myanmar and Thailand, especially those from minorities and marginalized backgrounds. 

Parami students, together with other conference participants, were given an opportunity to learn freely about Design Thinking and essential tools for their effective project development and implementation and to meet and build networks with other young leaders across Thailand who come from different backgrounds, universities, and organizations, who have a shared passion for designing impact solutions in their respective communities. They also applied their learning to design and present a hands-on social enterprise project with their team. 

Htet Myat Phone Niang, who always loves to make new friends, build networks, and explore and learn new things, described the event as intensive and enjoyable. At the same time, Khu David Ta Keh saw this opportunity as a chance to expand his knowledge, connect with inspiring individuals, and gain practical insights that are significant for his social impact actions. 

Both had a fulfilling experience exploring different aspects of social entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development Goals. They also supercharged the momentum of their work and their project, focusing on the social issues of their choice. They chose to cast their focus on “Quality Education” and “Zero Hunger,” two Sustainable Development Goals. 

The students also explained that their enthusiastic participation in civic engagement activities such as this youth conference is empowered by the liberal arts and well-rounded education they received at Parami University. 

A photo of Khu David a Keh delivering a presentation at the youth conference
“Through the learning at Parami University, I developed a deep understanding of the complex challenges facing societal and gained the skills needed to navigate them thoughtfully and ethically,” said Khu David Ta Keh. he also adds, “Moreover, the interdisciplinary approach that I learned from Parami University fostered my critical thinking, creativity, and empathy, which are essential qualities for effective social entrepreneurship.” 

Htet Myat Phone Naing added that the liberal arts education he received at Parami University empowered him to engage in these intellectually enriching activities. The conference further strengthened his understanding of how to approach social issues and solve them ethically. 

A photo of Htet Myat Phone Naing delivering a presentation at the youth conference
Reflecting on their experience, Htet Myat Phone Naing emphasized the responsibility of youth in driving positive change. He shared, “I’m also a youth among the youths, and we have the responsibility to lend our hands to the former generation and take their places. Youths have the power to solve social issues and make the world better.” His sentiment echoed the ethos of Parami University, which instills in its students a sense of compassionate service and duty towards creating a better society. 

Meanwhile, Khu David Ta Keh highlighted the power of collaboration and collective action in addressing complex social issues. He remarked, “One of the main takeaways from my experience at the NextGenChange conference was the power of collaboration and collective action in driving social change. Failures are not the end,” underscoring the importance of resilience and innovation in tackling societal challenges. 

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