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Youth Leadership Program

Montage Initiative’s Youth Leadership Development Program

Student Advisory Board 















Montage Initiative highly values the involvement and perspectives of youth in its works. Inspired by the leadership of Montage Initiative, two Fairfield University students decided that they wanted to impact decision-making in the organization further. This thought process resulted in the students developing Montage Initiative's Student Advisory Board. Through our Youth Leadership Development program, Montage Initiative incorporates the voices and participation of young people in its projects. We feel that it is essential to offer education, professional opportunities, and youth empowerment for young adults, as they are the leaders of today and tomorrow.

As such, Montage Initiative’s model for a Student Advisory Board that assists in decision-making is unique in that it gives young people a crucial role in Montage Initiative’s programs. The Student Advisory Board works alongside the Board of Directors to guide Montage Initiative and provide support to its leadership. Student leaders play a crucial role in the organization’s direction. 

Student Advisory Board members help to lead Montage Initiative: 

  •  Provide youth input and perspective into the decisions and work of Montage Initiative
  •  Engage in professional-level work as students in order to make a difference
  • Assist in planning, organizing, and carrying out projects of Montage Initiative
  • Help to finance and fundraise for programs
  • Recruit members and volunteers
  • Represent Montage Initiative to the community 


The Student Advisory Board has played a key role by: 

  • Presenting at Montage Initiative’s Parallel event during the United Nations Commission for the Status of Women (CSW) 57 and 58 Conferences.
  • Screening the film White Rainbow and facilitating panel discussions led by Dr. Mohini Giri and her staff at Fairfield University
  • Involving students through service learning program and courses at Fairfield University


  • Helping to organize the Travelling Art Gallery (T.A.G.) Exhibit and events, particularly at Fairfield University’s renowned Quick Center for the Arts
  • Partnering in the Biennial Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network (JUHAN) Conference Summer 2012
  • Partnering in discussions with Ciudad Mujer (City of Woman) project in El Salvador 
  • Representing Montage Initiative as United Nations liaison officers at the UN ECOSOC Youth Forums and the Annual Youth Assemblies at the UN.  



Members of the Board:

Klevisa Kovaci – co-founder and Chair of the Student Advisory Board

Klevisa Kovaci is an undergraduate student at Fairfield University majoring in International Studies, Politics and French. She became involved with Montage Initiative through its service learning partner project with Fairfield University, and has been an enthusiastic worker and supporter of Montage ever since. At Fairfield University she is an assistant teacher of French, Magis Scholar, and dedicated to the French and Model UN clubs as an officer. Klevisa highly values her study abroad experience in France as she has a passion for different cultures and languages. She aspires to make a change for the better in her community and internationally. Her pastimes include playing in the Fairfield University symphony orchestra and painting.

Sharon Pedrosa - co-founder of the Student Advisory Board

Sharon Pedrosa is a senior at Fairfield University, majoring in International Studies with a focus in Sociology. Throughout her college career, Sharon has been involved in many projects, including the Spanish American & Latino Student Association, Keep a Child Alive, St. Jude Up Til' Dawn, and Montage Initiative. She is the 2013 Vision Award Recipient at Fairfield University. This award is given to one student every year who exemplifies the virtues of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and she has already traveled to Japan, South Africa, and Central America in her humanitarian work.