Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma with participants of Entrepreneurship and Startup Summit 2020
Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma with participants of Entrepreneurship and Startup Summit 2020

Approximately 99.85 per cent of the participants of Aspire Meghalaya said they had identified a clear set of values in life, which was missing earlier.

Aspire Meghalaya is a programme designed to enhance well-being and improve soft skills of tribal youths of Meghalaya.

The number of students willing to participate actively in their classrooms improved by 300 per cent, stated a progress report of the programme shared on Tuesday.

Launched in 2019, Aspire Meghalaya is India’s first soft skills and well-being programme for tribal youths.

It has been set to support the youths in meeting the three main challenges that are hindering their employability.

These challenges are- a lack of clarity on their aspirations, underdeveloped communication skills and a lack of emotional resilience to face challenges at workplaces and in their relationships.

The programme was initiated by the Meghalaya government and was executed by Avenues, Meghalaya’s pioneering life coaching social enterprise.

The objective of the programme was to improve employability for the youth and empower them with employable soft skills, encourage talent identification and aspiration recognition at an early age.

A coffee table book and a documentary on Aspire Meghalaya were also launched by Chief Minister Conrad Sangma at the closing ceremony of the first Entrepreneurship and Startup Summit 2020 held on Tuesday.

Speaking on the occasion Sangma said Aspire Meghalaya has set a new benchmark as far as empowering the tribal youths of the region is concerned.

He said he will engage with the union tribal affairs ministry and would apprise them that similar programmes should be held in different tribal pockets of the country.

“Tribal youths have no access to opportunities and facilities to improve their confidence and talents,” Sangma said.

“A programme like Aspire Meghalaya will give wings to their ideas, thoughts and vision and will allow them to move forward in life,” he added.

He further stressed that such skill development is of immense importance for the overall development of the tribal youths.

He lauded the effort of Avenues and its founder Mark Laitflang Stone for his commitment and dedication to work with the youth and ensure that their talents and skills are recognised and given a platform to shine.

“I have been clear from Day 1 that our youth are very talented, inspired and really want to do many things, but face hurdles they feel they can’t cross,” Sangma said.

“Aspire Meghalaya has become the effort to help them cross over barriers,” he added.

“Here, we’re looking at the individual and delving into their mindset and ensuring that they truly believe in themselves,” Sangma further said.

Founder of Avenues Mark Laitflang Stone said, “The programme builds upon the pillars of mindsets, emotions, communication, connection and recognises talent and aspirations.”

Other positive impacts of the programme:

• 92.53 pc felt confident about making positive first impressions.

• 88.76 pc felt better placed to express their emotions.

• 81.55 pc was prepared to deal with conflicts constructively in their friendships.

• 76.87 pc had identified a major goal to work towards.

• 89.44 pc had developed better decision-making skills.

• 83.61 pc had identified a personal leadership trait.

• Over 114 career aspirations were identified by participants across the state.

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