On behalf of my LRN colleagues all over the world, I would like to wish you and your family a joyous and peaceful holiday season.
The holidays offer us a time to pause and reflect on the year that has passed and gather our thoughts and consider our goals for the year ahead. In the pause, we can separate from the always-on, constant flow of information and other distractions that increasingly define our daily lives; find space to reconnect with our deepest values, beliefs, and hopes; and then reimagine all that’s possible as we forge our paths ahead.
The holiday season also offers us a chance to reflect on the wellbeing of our respective communities. Without a doubt, 2016 was a challenging year, and we continue to experience the tugs and tensions among the forces that unite and divide us. But as I look to the New Year, searching for signs of hope, I am reminded of my note to you last year at this time about a phenomenon that only continued to grow in 2016 across continents: a contingent of young leaders who are taking a stand for their deeply held values. These young people are placing the pursuit of higher purpose first and have been able to inspire progress in their communities and positively influence the world around them.
You can see this trend in action in the form of a 15-year-old Syrian refugee who campaigned with Save the Children at Jordan’s Za’atari camp to advocate for young girls who could be forced into childhood marriage. You see inspiring leadership from a 17-year-old from Connecticut who launched TechCorps: Geeks for Good, which teaches children in the developing world how to use easily accessible parts to build computers for their schools. And we see such elevated behavior from a 17-year-old from California who founded Limbs with Love, where she designs and donates 3-D printed prosthetic hands to needy children all over the world.
These remarkable young people are demonstrating the kind of leadership that works in our reshaped world, which has become ever more interdependent. And they’re showing us the path toward forging a safer, more sustainable, more prosperous world. Inspired by their example, we at LRN are supporting their efforts by making our annual donation to several organizations that work with promising young leaders around the world.
In addition to the organizations mentioned above, this year’s recipients will also include:
- WE, an organization committed to empowering and educating kids about how they can change the world for the better;
- Imagination Foundation, whose mission is to find, foster, and fund creativity and entrepreneurship in children around the world;
- Mary’s Meals, an organization that believes that every child deserves an education and enough to eat; and
- Girls Who Code, whose mission is to close the gender gap in the tech industry.
Your relationship with LRN has made these contributions possible, and it gives me immense pride and gratitude to be on this shared journey with you. My LRN colleagues and I wish you a meaningful pause and a happy New Year.