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Philanthropy

Fernando,Irene.jpgIrene Fernando 
Delta-University of Minnesota

"What strikes me most about the line "to welcome the opportunity of contributing to the world's work in the community where I am placed because of the joy of service thereby bestowed and the talent of leadership multiplied" is what service to the community and contributing to the common good can result in: personal joy and the multiplication of leadership. Giving back and engaging in service are valuable in themselves, but what touches me more is that our founders were able to identify that these acts multiply the leadership in a community. Good leadership can transform a community. In our world today, good leadership is in high demand, and I am inspired that our Purpose asks each of us to be a good leader.


When I was 17, I helped to found Students Today Leaders Forever (STLF), an organization that uses community service, authentic relationships and a commitment to action to reveal the leadership already within each young person. We do this best through leadership and service road trips called Pay it Forward Tours, offered on the middle school, high school, and college levels.


Now, STLF it is a growing movement of thousands of young people leading and serving throughout the country. I hope my story and STLF's complete trust in youth can inspire others to take action. When starting anything, it's important to know who you want to help and why. The next thing is to think about your values and how they will infuse into the work you do. Finally, it is essential to know what success looks like for you. Try your best to make boil all of these down to as simple and pure as possible. Then grow that simplicity."