Washington, DC – While the 2015 graduation season comes to an end, many students take one of several paths. Some have prestigious fellowships or job offers at Fortune 500 companies. Others are following their passions and sense of adventure with the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps or Teach for America. Students who have yet to complete their academic careers embark on exciting internships that will hopefully hone their professional aspirations.
As a faculty advisor with the inaugural Global Food Challenge Emerging Leaders program at Land O’Lakes, Inc, I had the unique opportunity to see this project from inception through execution and I am more confident than ever that the next generation will change the world.
The millennial generation, which I barely am a part of, views the world in more racial diverse, digitally advanced and optimistic standpoint. Traveling to four Southern African countries with the 10 Emerging Leaders recently, I was mesmerized and humbled by their attitudes towards different cultures, food, attire and language.
These students live in a technologically advanced world, so I knew that they had their own preconceived notions about the countries we were going to visit for our two-week adventure. However, the conversations I had with each of them over the duration of the trip exposed growth and maturity well beyond their 20 year old age. Each of them discussed aspirations to change their local, national and global communities for good. Investments, of any size and shape, including a year-long internship program or a debrief in the van after a trip to a Malawian village, can and will leave a lasting impact on generations to come. As Ghandi once said, “be the change you want to see in the world.” I have zero doubts that this generation is off to a fabulous start.