Our Founding Story

BYLC’s journey started in January 2008 when Ejaj Ahmad—then a graduate student at Harvard Kennedy School—conceived of a leadership program that would unite youth from diverse backgrounds, equip them with leadership skills, and engage them in active citizenship. Ejaj and Shammi Quddus—then an undergraduate student at MIT—developed a proposal for a month-long leadership program, Building Bridges through Leadership Training (BBLT), and won the Kathryn Davis Projects for Peace Prize in March 2008. This supported them to run a pilot BBLT program with 30 high school and college students from English medium, Bangla medium, and Madrassa backgrounds in Chattogram, Bangladesh.

Following the success of the pilot, BYLC formed its Governing Board in October 2008. In early 2009, it was registered with the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms in Bangladesh as a non-partisan social venture committed to promoting justice, prosperity, and inclusiveness in society by training the next generation of leaders. Subsequently, BYLC developed relationships with many leading national and international organizations and expanded its programs to thousands of students from all corners of Bangladesh. Within a span of 12 years, BYLC has transformed from a living room project to one of the most trusted, respected, and sought after youth leadership platforms in Bangladesh.

Our Journey So Far

Timeline

2008
July 18

Building Bridges through Leadership (BBLT) program launched in Chattogram

2009
January 5

BYLC registered as a non-profit in Bangladesh

2010
June 20

Building Bridges through Leadership Junior (BBLTJ) program launched

2011
March 3

First Youth Leadership Summit with 200 delegates

2012
March 3

BYLC Graduate Network (BGN) launched for alumni engagement

November 12

Art and Practice of Leadership workshop launched

2013
March 20

BYLC moves to its new headquarters and training facility in Baridhara J block, Dhaka

October 5

Youth Leadership Bootcamp launched

November 7

MOU with Ministry of Youth and Sports

2016
May 5

New branding and website launched

September 15

BYLC launches Office of Professional Development

2017
September 10

BYLC’s online learning academy, BYLCx, launched

2018
August 2

First BYLC Running with Purpose held

2020
January 5

BYLC moves to new office in Mohakhali

January 15

First cohort of BYLC Ventures selected