How can you put the creativity and passion of young people to work for your cause? Learn what motivates them to take on volunteer service projects. Come hear from youths who saw a need in their community, rolled up their sleeves, and initiated innovative solutions. This workshop will inspire you to think of ways to engage youth and achieve win-win’s for them and your organization. You will hear from outstanding young volunteers and the adults who encouraged them as they discuss:
1. What kind of young person is more likely to see what should be rather than what is?
2. How do you attract them to your cause?
3. How do you motivate them to address your needs as well as their ideas?
4. What can adult volunteers and staff do to encourage and support these young volunteers?
Denyse Leslie began her career in general management consulting at Towers Perrin where she focused on strategic planning with publishing and education clients. She kicked the tires and recommended changes that left clients well positioned for growth. She has led internal consulting efforts at a Fortune 10 bank and at Educational Testing Service, where she was charged to get more “D” from R&D. Denyse successfully developed the strategy that resulted in ETS’s profitable return to K12 testing. More recently Denyse served as DiversityInc’s senior vice president, Consulting, and helped clients implement metrics-based strategies that achieved real diversity gains.
Denyse has pursued opportunities to get important stories documented and currently volunteers with Princeton’s Paul Robeson House and has worked on the history of Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church. She also serves on the planning committee of Princeton Community Works. Denyse received an MBA as a member of the charter class of Yale University’s School of Organization and Management. Her undergraduate degree is from Middlebury College.
Winona Guo, Senior, Princeton High School, and Priya Vulchi, Senior, Princeton High School, Co-Founders of CHOOSE
In October 2014, as Princeton High School sophomores, Winona Guo and Priya Vulchi co-founded CHOOSE (www.princetonchoose.org) with a mission to overcome racism and inspire harmony through exposure, education, and empowerment. With over 25,000 online engagements, $8,000 in grants, 10 national chapters, and 25 presentations, CHOOSE’s focus is ensuring that all administrators, educators, and students develop the historical and sociological toolkit for racial literacy. Most recently, partially funded by Princeton University and the Princeton Education Foundation, Winona and Priya published a 224-page, innovative story-based textbook called the Classroom Index following a successful pilot first edition in Princeton Public Schools’ classrooms. After high school, Winona and Priya hope to take a gap year to work on a new textbook edition on intersectionality, before attending, respectively, Harvard University and Princeton University. They hope that their work will transform K-12 social justice in schools nationwide, starting in Princeton.
Thomas Brinckman, Junior, Princeton High School, Co-President of the Operation Smile Community Service Project
Thomas is originally from Belgium and moved to Princeton five years ago. In 2016, he participated in a mission for Operation Smile in Bogota, Colombia, where he worked as a volunteer in a center that provides surgeries for children born with cleft lip. While there he discovered the incredible impact Operation Smile has throughout the world for children suffering from facial deformities–a life-changing experience both for those children and for him. Upon his return, he got deeply involved in Princeton High School’s Operation Smile club, which he restructured and transformed into a community service project along with Amy Wang. Since then Thomas has raised awareness about Operation Smile by organizing lectures and presentations by surgeons, business leaders, and other stakeholders. In this way, he hopes to demonstrate how one can leverage different societal actors to further the cause of such an organization.
Rachel Asir, Senior, Stuart Country Day School, President of School Student Body,
President and Founder, The Matthew and Rachel Asir Foundation (www.mrafoundation.org)
President and Founder, Bombs to Books (www.bombstobooks.com)
Rachel has been inspired and motivated by her mother, who grew up in poverty in an orphanage in India and felt that education was the key to opening doors. Combining a passion for service and music and a fire to change the world, Rachel has since the age of 10 used her talent to raise money via the Hope Movement, an annual music and dance benefit concert performed by her to support educational programs serving America’s disadvantaged youth. So far she has raised about $71,000 and given grants to seven organizations serving juveniles and veterans in a variety of ways. She then founded the Matthew and Rachel Asir (MRA) Foundation to provide educational empowerment to less privileged youth in our community.
In 2016 Rachel launched “Bombs to Books” in response to the tragic drowning death of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi while fleeing a Syrian refugee camp. She is determined to bring literacy and hope to children devastated by the trauma of the Syrian civil war, to put them on a path of lifetime learning. To that end, she is collecting $200,000 of educational books and toys to be personally distributed to refugee camps in Jordan and Turkey.