I recently read a great article written by Sam Davidson on “Gen Y” or Echo Boomers. asking if they are going to change the world. The answer is simple – they are. It amazes me the number of organizations and individuals I come across that are either supporting the Gen Y generation to give or are Gen Y’s creating their own campaigns to create positive change in the world. My guest today is one of those people. I was happy to come across this organization called Youth Insight. This organization encourages and creates leaders in the “Gen Y” generation that are stepping up and going to countries all over the world to give back. They are helping schools and teaching children to dream and achieve their goals. My guest Elizabeth Liliana Angel, a youth leader, was part of a group of students that raised $125,000 to help a school in Tanzania. Here is her inspiring story on how she is giving back to the world. Thank you for sharing your story Elizabeth.
What are your children doing to give back?
Day 197: Give 197
I am a 21-year- old full-time college student, full-time employee, and a supporting and loving sister, cousin, friend, and leader. My name is Elizabeth Angel, and I have a story that I would like to share with you. Throughout my twenty-one odd years of experiences of life, love, giving, and joy I have learned so much about myself, and the unique talents and opportunities that I have to make a change in the world. My journey began about six years ago. After a painful family divorce, and challenging times in my life I was introduced to an organization dedicated to the development and empowerment of teenagers. The Teen Insight Program (now re-named Institute for Youth Leadership, part of the Continuing Education Division of Insight University) provides seminar-based learning opportunities teaching self-confidence, self-awareness, and heart-centered learning, along with communication and leadership skills.
I can easily say that Insight changed me, and ultimately changed my life. When I began taking Insight seminars I found a passion for sharing my love, talents, and experiences with others. I was also introduced to the concept that change begins with one person, and I found a fiery passion for being a catalyst for the movement of change in our world.
My friends and I felt that our giving could reach a grander scale a service project that would affect the global community. rs We provided the ideas, plans, dedication, energy, and desire to give back to our world. We partnered with Knock Foundation who worked in Moshi, Tanzania, Africa and decided to volunteer at their AIDS Orphanage (called Matumaini Childcare Organization), and Mrupanga primary school where the children attend. While many adults were skeptical about us reaching our fundraising goal of $125,000 in 2009, our spirits soared and our hard work showed our determination. By July of 2009 we had raised all of our money we needed to fund our service project, and in August of 2009 we spent two and a half life altering weeks in Africa. Upon departing with this wonderful land we knew that our giving was nowhere near completed and that some day we would return.
The time to return to Tanzania has arrived finally! We are going back in August with a new group of graduates from the Teen Leadership Program.
Despite the fact that my life is extremely hectic, I always find the time to give. I give smiles, love, and hugs on a daily basis. On days that I have more time in between work and homework assignments however, I spend my day leading fundraising events, gathering curriculum information for the English courses that I am helping to design for the kids in Africa, making bracelets for the kids at the school, and telling people about what I am doing.
These experiences have taught me the importance of what being a leader is. The function of a leader is to create and empower future leaders. The beauty in this life lesson is that it takes one person to be a leader, and one leader to start a movement of change. I hope that this story, my story, has conveyed the importance of being a leader in your life as well as the power of the gift of giving.
Giving, regardless of it size is a precious gift that can change anyone’s day. Just remember, the smile you give a stranger has the power to change their day.
A Leader in Life