What would you like the power to do? Serve, inspire, change

As we celebrate 15 years of investing in young people through the Student Leaders program, we asked our alumni and current class what they would like the power to do.

This year, we’re celebrating 15 years of investing in young people through our Student Leaders Program, which has expanded its reach to 83 communities with 283 students ― the largest class ever. Since 2004, we’ve recognized nearly 3,500 civic-minded high school students by providing them with a paid internship at a local nonprofit and participation in a leadership summit in Washington, D.C. Here’s what happened when we asked student leaders ― past and present ― “What would you like the power to do?”

Student Leaders had the opportunity to share what they would like the power to do during the Student Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C.

“I would like the power to inspire people from all sorts of backgrounds to strive for their goals and never stop doing so. I’d like to provide advice and demonstrate to everyone that no goal is too big. That with tenacity and determination, every goal can be accomplished.”―Beatris Gomez, 2011 Student Leader, Jacksonville, FL


 “I would like the power to help individuals feel empowered to overcome their own struggles and become their strongest self. We are often put in many boxes ― mentally, societally, etc. ― and we all have our own challenges, but I am a believer that we have the ability to do hard things, brave things, and not only have the power to create a better version of ourselves, but a better world for us all to live in.” ―Caleb Spiro, 2017 Student Leader, Claremont, CA

“I would like the power to continue inspiring, motivating, and encouraging others to stretch out a helping hand to anyone, including teachers, minorities, and students with disabilities or special needs.” ―Jennifer Cho, 2018 Student Leader, Austin, TX



“I would like the power to be able to have people know what it’s like to be in another person’s shoes because I feel like one of the main issues that this country is facing today is extreme political polarization. I feel that it is because we have lost compassion and empathy. So if I could infuse love into peoples’ hearts so that we can better understand one another, then we could better compromise and make change for society.” ―Gabriella Garcia, 2019 Student Leader, Phoenix, AZ

“I would like the power to motivate young leaders to follow their dreams. It’s very important for young leaders to know and understand that their dreams, passions, and anything they believe in should serve as a guide to their path of success and help pave the way for future leaders to come.” ―Thomas Wright, 2014 Student Leader, Newport, VA


“I want to have the power to be a neurological surgeon and help those affected by Alzheimer’s disease in underserved communities.” ― Aisho Ali, 2019 Student Leader, Columbus, OH




“I would like the power to show African American students that they are capable of attending and thriving at elite institutions!” ―Leila Champion, 2019 Student Leader, Indianapolis, IN





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