As some of you know, I am on the Board of a small nonprofit, One Bead, that works with young students here in Boston. As some of you may also know, I am turning 35 this month.
In many ways, my childhood looked a lot different than that of our students. For example, I can’t relate to the eight-year old in East Boston who confidently stood up in front of the class and convinced his peers that gender stereotyping is a problem. And truthfully, I have no idea what it is like to be a seventeen-year-old from Roxbury, advocating for immigration policy change after watching my loved one get deported. But, as a soon-to-be-thirty-five-year-old from Syracuse, I can relate to the importance of having someone who believes in you.
I can also give students, like these, a platform to voice their beliefs, ideas, and opinions through One Bead.
This year, my goal is to raise $3,500 on my 35th birthday to sponsor a One Bead Youth Leadership Program (YLP) here in Boston. During this program students will be given $1,000 and the opportunity to make a difference locally. This kind of social impact experience is invaluable if we hope to cultivate leaders defined by their passion, empathy, and resilience.