Co-authored by Chris Fontana, Executive Director.
Last Saturday night, supporters of Global Visionaries gathered in the home of Heide and Matthew Felton to give their support to create opportunities for underserved youth. Youth leaders, Samrawit Zeinu and Devin McDonald spoke passionately about their transformational experiences in the GV program.
“I started the year-long transformation to becoming a leader through the culture nights and my internship with GV. To me, a leader is someone who is aware of themselves and their actions. Someone who can positively influence others without speaking,” said Samrawit Zeinu. “In Guatemala, I learned that material wealth is not important. What is important is who I am and the beliefs that I value. GV changed my outlook on the world — how I perceive things should be. It hit me at my core.”
“It has been three years since my trip but the values I learned are still strong inside of me,” concluded Samrawit. “If I catch myself complaining, I remember my brothers and sisters in Ethiopia and my friends in Guatemala don’t have enough. I now hold myself accountable.”
Mauricio Vivero, Executive Director of the Seattle International Foundation gave his testimony as both a funder and a father. Mr. Vivero said: ”We have vetted 200 organizations and only fund 30 of them. And that should tell you the kind of caliber and impact, management, as well as leadership that GV has. It’s truly an institution that is worthy of support.”
Mr. Vivero elaborated not only on the importance of the work that Global Visionaries does, but the importance of aiding the Guatemalan people.”For those of you who haven’t been to Guatemala, it is a country still scared by the civil wars. It’s a very unequal country. It’s a country where the majority of children, that’s over fifty percent, are malnourished. That is much higher than many countries in Southern Africa.In Guatemala, we feel as GV does: that the true road to development and to a more prosperous society is to help these very talented Guatemalan youth have a shot at opportunity. And that’s what GV does.”
GV Executive Director, Chris Fontana said following the event: ”We are so thankful that our community believes that you are the leaders of today, not tomorrow and that the most important investment we can make is in low-income youth! We planned to make $30,000 but we raised $48,000 and that is a testament to the youth’s compelling stories. I was deeply touched by the show of support at the Founders Club event and through our on-line campaign leading up to the event that brought in nearly $3,000 of the total.”
Save the date for next year’s event on Saturday, September 28th, 2012.