The President’s Young Professionals Program—Building Self-Confidence in Liberia’s Next Generation of Leaders

Agnes Payeker – President’s Young Professionals Program, Class IV

Photo of Agnes PayekerWhile browsing the internet in search of a job after graduating from Stella Maris Polytechnic with a degree in Management, Agnes Payeker came across an announcement about the President’s Young Professionals (PYP) Program—an innovative program that prepares highly qualified Liberian youth for leadership in public service, and equips them with tools to contribute positively to the overall development of Liberia. With her interest piqued, Agnes called a friend who had previously attended a PYP workshop and with her support, and nervously decided to apply to the program. Agnes is now a member of Class IV, working at the Ministry of Finance’s Department of Budget.

Many of her important responsibilities include working with the Government of Liberia’s (GoL) Ministry of Health to prepare monthly, quarterly, and annual human development work plans for the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare.

As she progresses through this innovative and high profile program, Agnes is getting experience that she never thought possible—from leading discussions with other Ministers and Controller, to voicing her ideas to Her Excellency President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at the Social Female Disabled Program. “I’ve learned to be confident in myself…and do what is best for [me] and my country. You must work hard, apply yourself, be focused and transparent, and put your country first.”

Agnes is learning budget training, asset training, and procurement planning. As she progresses through this innovative and high profile program, Agnes is getting experience that she never thought possible—from leading discussions with other Ministers and Controller, to voicing her ideas to Her Excellency President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at the Social Female Disabled Program. “I’ve learned to be confident in myself…and do what is best for [me] and my country. You must work hard, apply yourself, be focused and transparent, and put your country first.” She credits many of her accomplishments to her mentor, who works with USAID-GEMS (Government & Economic Management Support Project). Agnes feels that she can always go to him for help and advice.

In the future, Agnes would be happy to work at any Ministry, whether it is related to health or education, as long as she achieves her goal of becoming a procurement analyst and helping the Ministry plan its affairs. She hopes to become a mentor for future PYP classes, and encourage other young, passionate Liberians to be focused as they explore the opportunities available to them.

To learn more about the President’s Young Professionals Program, please visit pyppliberia.org.

The President’s Young Professionals Program (PYPP) of Liberia is a prestigious two-year fellowship that places recent Liberian college graduates in important government roles and provides them with training and mentorship as they support the government’s top priorities. Launched by H.E. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in 2009, the PYPP is now one of Africa’s most competitive programs for leadership in public service.