Alumna Shaz Elanie Mohd Khamil was recently chosen as one of the ASEAN Foundation’s youth ambassadors for their eMpowering Youths initiative!

At the GIS Alumni Relations Office, we often have exciting news about our Alumni to share. Today we are delighted to share an update from our Alumna Shaz Elanie Mohd Khamil, from the Class of 2007.

Elanie was recently chosen as one of the ASEAN Foundation’s youth ambassadors for their eMpowering Youths initiative. The ASEAN Foundation is a non-profit organisation created by and for the people of Southeast Asia. It seeks to raise awareness and provide opportunities through various initiatives to help all ASEAN people develop their potential.

To become a Youth Ambassador, Elanie had to pass through a tight selection process and was amongst the 4% of chosen candidates to represent their country in eMpower rural communities in Cambodia, Indonesia and Malaysia!

After graduating from GIS in 2007, Elanie completed a BA (Hons) in International Relations and Politics at the University of Essex and followed by a MSc. in  International Politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies.


Elanie, could you please share the details of this ambassador program and what will it involves?

The program aims to implement and manage a project that has several goals: to give a sense of volunteerism, create an alternative career path for youths, raise awareness of social causes relevant to ASEAN members and improve the overall wellbeing of ASEAN communities through social enterprises.

Our objectives are built upon the following four pillars: Education, Community Wellbeing, Environment Diversity and Arts & Culture. As part of the program, all candidates are to attend a one-week regional training program and a two-week volunteering project.  I have been selected to support the growth pillar of environment diversity in rural Cambodia. We will seek to support farmers and conservation projects in those areas.


Can you share with us some of your fond memories of GIS?

GIS holds countless fond memories for me: from choosing my buddy for the Year 5 field trip to Melaka to learn about Parameswara, to, staying back to get curry french fries from Buddies Cafe (across the road), to getting scolded by Ms. Cheah in Year 11 for never tucking in my shirt!

I forged lifelong friendships at GIS, amazing friendships that lasted even after we left school.


Do you have any advice to share with current GIS students?

Whilst tradition dictates that we should study to get good grades, and that academic success is the end goal of education, I truly believe that there’s more to life than grades! Take this time to find yourself at your own pace, accept your peers for their eccentricities and quirks, and seize every opportunity to find happiness in yourself.