On August 19th 2022, Candid and The International Social Impact Institute held Part 2 of The Inaugural Youth Giving Summit on World Humanitarian Day, bringing together two extremely inspirational fifteen year old entrepreneurs for a discussion on the power of community and connection. The event, inspired by the words of Nelson Mandela “the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow,” highlighted these young individuals, and their ability to execute ideas that deliver powerful change. Hearing from these young leaders provided real examples of how the youth of today can also be the leaders of today, especially in the face of so many difficult and global challenges. These young leaders have clearly recognized that the opportunities to collaborate have never been greater.
The theme of this year’s World Humanitarian Day is “it takes a village” and the speakers for this event both embody that theme as they expertly leverage community and connection to accomplish great things. By building a virtual tribe, and leveraging a global youth giving ecosystem for support, resources, and common purpose, today’s youth can drive the change they want to see in the world.
Arif Ekran, Youth Giving Program Lead Manager at Candid, hosted the session, emphasizing Candid’s strong belief in the importance of empowering our youth. Elizabeth Ngonzi moderated the session, which included speakers Khloe Thompson, Founder of Giving Tuesday Spark and Khloe Cares, and Benjamin Wong, CEO of Kid CEO Media.
Speaker Contributions: Khloe Thompson
Khloe Thompson is a 15 year old international philanthropist, author, innovator, entrepreneur, and a clear example of the power of youth engagement. She is a trailblazer in many respects, who knew at 8 years old that she wanted to help people and inspire change. She founded Khloe Kares, a nonprofit organization that distributes “Kare Bags” filled with toiletries, hygiene products, and other necessities for the Los Angeles homeless community. Khloe learned to sew from her grandmother, a skill she eagerly put to use in creating Kare Bags for those in need.
Khloe has also written two books, one titled “The Girl Who Became The Change,” a children’s book based on her own life. She hopes that she can inspire other youth and girls to go after their dreams, and also to “Be The Change.” She works hard to help young people identify and cultivate their passions. Khloe has practical guidance for those who want to get involved, even if it’s difficult to know where to begin:
- Find something you are passionate about, and use that passion to do good – this shouldn’t feel like work
- Connect your passion with purpose…then go out and do it!
- Build community and connection, both are critically important
Khloe continued to return to the importance of community throughout the discussion. When asked how she built her tribe to amplify her own impact, Khloe shared that it all began with Giving Tuesday. She recognized the lack of youth participation, and wanted to do something that would inspire kids to get involved. Khloe created Giving Tuesday Spark, a global initiative that provides a safe space for other proactive youth to come together and give back. With Giving Tuesday Spark, Khloe identified a need, and leveraged the power of community to bring her ideas to life.
Speaker Contributions: Benjamin Wong
Benjamin Wong is a 15 year-old entrepreneur and visionary, who connects with other inspirational youths through his four Podcasts, which aim to help other young entrepreneurs connect and grow as a community. He is the CEO of Kid CEO Media, and his podcasts draw a diverse range of guests, inspired by Benjamin’s insatiable curiosity.
Benjamin developed a strong interest and passion for finance, entrepreneurship, and business early in life, and never truly “fit in” with his elementary and middle school classmates. In 2021, Benjamin left traditional school and entered into home schooling, which allows him to further develop his passions, and focus time and energy on connecting with other like-minded young entrepreneurs.
Benjamin stresses that it is “never too early to make a difference in others’ lives, communities, and the world.” When asked how he got started, Benjamin explained his first venture, selling homemade avocados as a child, with two friends and his younger sister handling their advertising by hand-drawing signs. The venture taught Benjamin some valuable lessons, including how to go after something he wants.
Benjamin has applied a few consistent principles throughout his life, which he feels are responsible for driving him, and which he encourages others to consider:
- Try to get over your fear. Benjamin acknowledged that it’s normal to feel afraid and to be fearful when trying new things, but do what you can to get over it.
- Be curious. Benjamin follows his curiosity through his podcasts, and he believes others should follow be curious through whatever avenues are most natural to them.
- Start small. Benjamin suggests that helping just one person can be much less intimidating, and over time it can build to hundreds, thousands, or more!
Benjamin emphasizes the importance of “diversity of thought” in his youth community, which he describes as a “virtual clubhouse” for like-minded youth to connect, collaborate, and learn from each other, including on topics as wide-ranging as business, investing, games, bitcoin, blockchain, NFTs and much more.
Nelson Mandela once said that “what counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” Khloe and Benjamin have both been helping others throughout their childhood. Both of these inspirational young leaders recognize the power of community when it comes to driving change, inspiring groups of people to come together and get involved, and the significant impact community can have. The speakers collectively focused the discussion on actionable steps young people can take, how to leverage community in order to amplify the impact, and the power of connection.
Click Here to Watch the Part 2 – CONNECTION
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