I-LEAD: One Intern’s Experience of a Lifetime


“Hello All! Two CETUSA staff members were lucky enough to be invited to the I-LEAD Conference, an event that is designed to bring together J-1 Interns who are leaders in their community. One of our participants, Shanyque Crewes was selected as one of the few interns that were able to attend. She provided us with a record of her thoughts throughout to conference, read her story below!

‘Day one after I arrived and did registration we did an introduction to the entire ILEAD team as well as the delegates and an intercultural activity to send us off to bed.

Day two we had a presentation on leadership from one of the ILEAD staff, then training on leadership through reflection of our experiences throughout our lives then we had a presentation on the international rule of law with Joel from the world justice project then later down we had dinner and did a few TED talks video on leadership and we discussed it.


Shanyque (second from right) and her pitch team"
Shanyque (second from right) and her pitch team

Day three we did activities with the staff and took a site visit on the campus to Startup Hall it’s a hub for Seattles entrepreneurs and we had discussions with startup companies there that shares their experiences in entrepreneurship afterwards we did more training on leadership then watched a film called Poverty, Inc and discussed it over dinner.

Day four we had presenters from the Street Law, Inc then we had a chat with Vice President of CIEE Phil Simon and then they sent us on our own to have dinner wherever and we had a pitch night .

Day five we had presentation by the ILEAD staff then we all went on a tour of Seattle where they took us to South Lake Union Park, Pike Place Market, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Pioneer Square afterwards we had dinner and all the delegates presented on topics which we were placed in groups from before.

Shanyque and other I-LEAD attendees at Seattle's famous 'Gum Wall'
Shanyque and other I-LEAD attendees at Seattle’s famous ‘Gum Wall’

Day six last day where it all ended we basically discuss of experiences throughout the week, did evaluations and spoke with a lady from the office of alumni affairs for the J1 Alumni.

Most favorite thing was the night when they sent us on our own to have dinner and we had the pitch night so basically we had to pitch our idea to a stranger on the street and convince them that our project is something worth taking part in then after for their contribution they had to donate $2 to our cause. It was fun as well as nerve wrecking because I’m not that open up of a person and for me to do that it was brave and I was extremely proud of myself for that and the support that I got from the other delegates was something I will cherish.’

It seems like Shanyque really took a lot away from this conference and was able to learn a lot from her fellow interns. For CETUSA, it was really great to be able to meet Shanyque and all of the other interns in attendance, they are all such a motivated group of young people.”

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