Scholar Class – 2013
Growing up in a former Soviet Union country and belonging to a minority ethnic group, Saidzhan has personally experienced poverty, discrimination, homophobia, and racism. This galvanized him to turn his challenges into opportunities and to motivate young people to actively participate in the social justice activities. Saidzhan founded Youth for Peace Initiative, which conducts empowerment programs such as peace camps, leadership trainings, diversity development, and social entrepreneurship. He successfully coordinated more than 30 social projects and has helped implement more than 300 local/national/international programs on different topics: LGBT rights, International Volunteer Exchange, Youth Advocacy, Social Partnership, Fundraising, Inclusive System of Education, Human Rights, UN Millennium Goals, Genocide, Peace Building, and Diversity. Moreover, he has worked as an international youth trainer consultant, which allowed him to develop a variety of human rights projects and to conduct multiple peace building seminars and training.
Saidzhan has traveled extensively across the world to work on humanitarian projects in Thailand, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkey, France, Germany, Switzerland, and other countries. He has received multiple accolades and recognition from UN, UNESCO, UNDP, Three Dot Dash, US Presidential Service, Global Clinton Initiative, Jane Goodall Institute, Hesselbein Leadership Academy, Youth Service America, MCW, President of Kyrgyzstan, US Department of State, and many others. Saidzhan is pursuing his degree in international relations at the University of Pennsylvania and with the help of Point Foundation, he is the first member of his family to attend an institution of higher education. Saidzhan aspires to use his rich experience in human rights development and passion for peace building to one day become the United Nations Secretary General.