Last week was a milestone for me, and for our team at Growing Leaders. We celebrated our tenth birthday on Thursday night.
Amidst a full room of friends, family and donors, we enjoyed laughter, memories, comedy, tears, inspirational stories from students and educators…and lots of cake. The idea of starting Growing Leaders can be traced back to a Chili’s restaurant in Louisiana. I had just spoken to college students about how young people have been changing the world since the beginning of history. While eating chicken fingers with my friend Morgan Hill, he said to me, “Why don’t we launch an organization that’s all about equipping students to do what you talked about tonight?”
The rest, as they say, is history.
Growing Leaders now partners, at some level, with over 7,000 schools, universities and organizations around the world. We have invested in 500,000 students, and translated our Habitudes series into fourteen languages. Our goal is to equip 1% of the world’s population, who is under 25 years old, to be life-giving leaders.
Our mission? To turn ordinary students into growing leaders who will transform society. While I believe no student is ordinary, often our society programs kids to just be…well, common. Average. To blend in with the crowd. Allow me to clarify the difference between an ordinary student and a growing leader:
ORDINARY STUDENTS GROWING LEADERS
1. Self-absorbed 1. Sacrificial
2. Imitate others 2. Authentic
3. Apathetic 3. Committed
4. Consumers 4. Generous
5. Presumptuous 5. Grateful
6. Controlling 6. Empowering
7. Status quo 7. Hungry mind
8. What can I get? 8. What can I give?
9. It’s about the money 9. It’s about a mission
10. Blend in 10. Stand out
At our party, we introduced The Growing Leaders Foundation. It exists for schools that cannot afford the resources or training we provide. We want to launch this foundation with $100,000. If you’d like to give toward this goal, you can donate here: https://growingleaders.com/get-involved/give
Growing Leaders is who we are. It’s also what we do. Would you join us in our mission? Let us know how we can serve you.