In Simon Sinek's book Start With Why, Sinek explains that the most influential, world-changing organizations are the ones that follow their “why”— the spark in their brains that make them question everything and want to change the world— with unwavering dedication. Our “why” is cultivated in our limbic brain, the area that controls our feelings, yet has no capacity for articulation, and pushes us to do better than any external force ever could. It is through the “why” that we find the capacity for greatness, and once “why” becomes clear, those who believe in the same why will follow you.
It is through Youth and Government that I, along with thousands of others students across the state, have been able to harness our “whys” to cultivate greatness. Everyone is intrinsically wired with their “why”, their purpose, but not everyone is able to employ it. Youth and Government is a vehicle that enables us to utilize our beliefs to inspire and to be the world changers described in Sinek’s book. Delegates are given the ability to spread their ideas among thousands, and remember the power of a new idea. They create solutions and ideas by looking at intersections of beliefs, and find things that would not be possible without discourse.
And not only are they able to pursue their purpose, but they are given the ability to flourish by listening to others’ as well. In our divisive age, we often lose perspective on the importance of listening to those around us and forget how we benefit as a whole through empathy. Youth and Government demonstrates the power of listening, and facilitates delegates to take what they have learned and spread it.
I believe in the power of “why” and the power of this program. I am fortunate enough to live in a world where I can afford to have these experiences, however, there are thousands of students in the state that do not have the same luck. One third of the 3,500 students in Youth and Government rely on scholarships to participate in the program. I want everyone to be able to have a place to step out of their comfort zone and find that it is more important to be brave than perfect. I want to expose students to political policy so they are able to be smart, informed, civically engaged citizens that change their communities for the better. I want to be able to spread the sensation of walking away from speaking to hundreds of people, and using your “why” to inspire change.
In order to impart this on students across California, I need your help. Right now, you have the power to transform a life. If you are willing and able to donate, you will allow students all across the state to harness their purpose. Anything you are able to donate is greatly appreciated and every dollar goes directly to funding these scholarships. Let’s bring up a generation of well-educated, civically minded, confident leaders. Thank you so much for your time.