It’s not easy to keep up with everything that’s happening around the world. Especially these last few months when returning to the basics, to our roots, to what really matters most to us has become a pretty universal theme.
So why should we care about people on the other side of the planet when we’re all experiencing our own challenges and struggles? Quite simply, because we’re all so much more alike than we give each other credit for. And yes, we do need one another. While our circumstances and environments might differ dramatically, we all (particularly those of us at YSN) strive for similar ideals: self awareness, perspective, understanding, achievement, innovation, and impact. As creator of a global community of members and followers in over 190 countries, I’ve always felt a profound sense of responsibility to bring young people from around the world together in their pursuit of happiness, adventure and success.
If you haven’t yet experienced the sensation of true connection and bonding with people who couldn’t be more different than you, you’re really missing out on something so special.
The lessons we can learn from one another’s unique experiences around the world are priceless. The new sense of context we discover is invaluable. The feeling of camaraderie, compassion and of love for our fellow human beings is, in my opinion, the most extraordinary way to experience our planet.
Whether you’re making a comfortable living or scraping to survive, trust me, you’ll feel like a million bucks when you touch the soul of someone in a far off land. We’re proud to have the ability to help facilitate too. 24/7 come find your inspiration though the journeys of others right here. (Ask Katie if you want any help!)
That all said, here are a few new friends we’ve made who have inspired us.
Umeh Nwabueze (Portharcort Rivers, Nigeria) is a very sweet young man who is determined to find success in the midst of big obstacles. In his correspondences with Katie in our office he’s shared that while he has always been a disciplined student, the local academic union has been on strike for the past 3 months, so his education is on hold. The only success stories he sees friends enjoying are the result of crime or leaving the country in pursuit of opportunity abroad. Staying positive and on his path is a challenge, but one he counters everyday with tenacity to success on his own terms.
Leo Noronha (Mumbai, India) was lucky enough to graduate from a good private school, and is now studying for the GMATs so he can pursue a graduate degree. In the mean time, he’s just landed a job in marketing and public relations. The job scene wasn’t easy to confront, but now that he’s landed employment, he’s question whether going back to school right now is the best idea.
One unnamed 30 something (Indianapolis, Indiana) is now incarcerated after getting lured into a gang while growing up in a tough inner city neighborhood. Today, he spends his time reading and trying to better himself. His goal is to study real estate, get a brokers license, then give back in spades to the community he robbed from as a troubled teen.
Esther Wambui (Kibera, Nairobi Kenya) founded the Huruko Children’s Center, a little orphanage that she runs with some modest help from her church. Her passion to help abandoned children is endless. But keeping lights on, providing enough food and the very basic necessities has Esther eager to find support through caring individuals or sponsorship from a company or organization. Talk about context, she says $100 a month could make all the difference in the world.
Michael Teoh (from New Zealand but living in Malaysia) is pursuing his own social start-up in the fields youth development and entrepreneurship. In a recent update, he just told us “I already clients lining up to engage me in project management services!” My favorite part: “And look what YSN and yourself have (personally and through the book) created – A Youth Entrepreneur for Malaysia. I am taking those golden lessons in your book and putting them into good use.”
Now I’m speechless. I love what we do here. But anyone can make connections like these and discover different people with their own special stories around the world. Step out of your own comfort zone and open yourself up to new people who could so wonderfully and unexpectedly change your perspective or even your life.