Conference Review: Latinos In Agriculture

My name is Karyssa Zavala, and I am a Latina Leader in Agriculture, born in Texas with roots in Mexico.

For three years now, I have been a member of Latinos in Agriculture, a community of Latino students, faculty, universities, governmental agencies, and agricultural companies convening annually to discuss and encourage the advanced study and careers for Latinos in agriculture and related fields. These member universities, governmental agencies, and agricultural companies graciously provide annual scholarships for enrolled undergraduate and graduate Latino students pursuing agriculture and related studies. In the past two years, student participants largely represented first-generation college students. Though not all students have agricultural backgrounds, for many including myself, at least one of our parents formerly worked as migrant laborers from countries such as Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Brazil.

In (2014 & 2015), I received student scholarships to attend the Latinos in Agriculture Leaders Conference held in Grapevine, Texas. I provided insight among conference participants of my graduate program in International Agricultural Development, and my two prior HACU internships with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. The Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU) National Internship Program is the largest U.S. federal internship program for students of Hispanic descent. Thus, I shared my experiences with the HACU application, selection, and placement processes with interested student participants.

In 2014 - Conference participants consisted of 34 colleges and universities, and 22 companies and organizations representative of 24 states in the U.S.

In 2015 - Conference participants consisted of 30 colleges and universities, and 70 professionals representative of 25 states in the U.S.

On October 28-30, 2016 – I co-led a presentation to high school students and their agricultural science teachers from across Texas involved in their local FFA (Future Farmers of America) Chapters. FFA is an intracurricular student organization for those interested in agriculture and leadership. For several of these students, it was their first time to take part in a professional conference, as well as the first time some students ever stepped foot outside their county lines. My co-presenters and I discussed with the high school students and teachers the diverse fields of study and careers in agriculture and life sciences.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has three emphasis areas: Management, Agribusiness and Industry, and Science and Technology. In the area of Science and Technology, I discussed how the career fields of Food Inspection and Food Technology enabled me to ensure Food Safety & Inspection Service (FSIS) compliance guidelines were comprehensible for Hispanic production workers; representing more than half the workforce in U.S. beef slaughter establishments. And I explained how my Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Communications & Journalism prepared me for communicating agricultural information to the public.

In the area of Agribusiness and Industry, I discussed how the career field of International Trade Economics enabled me to assist the planning, implementing, and monitoring of food safety capacity building activities in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. I explained how my Master’s degree in International Agricultural Development prepared me for serving as an agricultural advisor in developing nations. Overall, my theme in my presentation was the correlation between food safety in both the U.S. and emerging markets in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. And it was motivating for me to see curiosities emerge among the students and teachers, and have both audience members asking receptive questions after the presentation.

Given this was the first year Latinos in Agriculture hosted high school students, it was meaningful to receive feedback from the students and teachers. That they felt welcomed and that they belonged in our community of Agriculture Leaders. In my opinion, high school is an imperative period to engage Latino students in intracurricular student organizations such as FFA, so as to develop leadership and engage in mentorship to complete their graduation and pursue a college degree. Latinos across varying levels of education lead our nation’s lowest numbers among student retention and graduation respectively. However, it was noted in the 2016 Latinos in Agriculture Leaders Conference that Latinos are currently the largest minority representation among U.S. college campuses.

The fact that my community has a measurable presence in higher education, is a momentous movement forward when we reflect on where our parents and grandparents started. The most memorable quote from this year’s conference was, “You can help an organization be more and do more by being a dual cultural individual.” It is no coincidence that the year Latinos are largely recognized among U.S. college campuses as the leading minority representation, that the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced more than $8.8 million in competitive funding to support Hispanic-Serving Institutions' (HSIs) agricultural science education programs.

Our governance acknowledges the imperative role education, especially an agricultural education, plays among the Latino community. And how the seeds our parents and grandparents planted within us, enable us third –and– fourth generations of Hispanic-Americans to shape the future of agriculture and largely humanity.

Karyssa Zavala 

BittaBaazar and financial services to migrant workers in Nepal


I am Nikunja Bhandari, co-founder of Nepal Language and Research Solutions (NLRS). NLRS is the one of the pioneer localization and research firms in Nepal working to contribute towards removing barriers to knowledge. We have been working with various national and international organizations to help simplify their knowledge base make it more available to the local people and helping provide researched data to stimulate informed decisions on development.

Nepal made a significant progress in the terms of banking and financial developing in the last two decades. The number of banks and financial institutions (BFIs) went up with more than 25 nationally operating commercial banks, more than 100 development banks operating targeting various regions of the nation as of now. Despite this development, a major chunk of Nepali population is still out of banking coverage and basic saving and lending schemes to them is still a dream. Nepal Rastra Bank, the central bank of Nepal, estimates that more than 40 percent of Nepali population is still out of banking coverage forcing them to pursue the traditional approaches of saving and lending. Especially among the rural and poor population, the landlords and moneylenders are the only source of seeking money upon need while saving money hasn't been an affordable option. The local moneylenders' made viscous cycle with exorbitant interest rates results in deepening poverty thereby making the population further excluded.

One of the major communities forced to depend upon the traditional moneylenders is of Nepali migrant workers seeking job especially in Gulf countries and Malaysia. While Nepali migrant workers continue to fill the labor gaps, Nepal has become one of the highest receivers of remittance, the third largest recipient of remittances in terms of percentage contribution to GDP covering 29.2 percent of the same. The contrary, their access to finance to cover their migration costs in their local places seems feeble, while in some cases, the moneylenders are found charging interest rates as high as 120 percent.

Thus, we envisioned a project to leverage the competition among the BFIs while also making it the banking services more available to the undeserved. The project's main activity is to develop and operate a financial information portal:

Bittabazaar is an online information portal that visitors with the information about all the financial products, offered by banks and financial institutions of Nepal. The comprehensive portal has the compiled dataset on every bank operating in Nepal with their loans, saving schemes and other services they offer. Here, the visitors can search for the product of their type and compare among the banks based on the interest rates, amount offered (in case of loan) and processes and charges. Further, the website also provides the processing services, where visitors can authorize the website to process financial product of their choice on their behalf. The website also features ATM and bank branch locator, financial calculators and other general information on financial literacy.

Every service and information provided provides doesn't cost anything except that of processing charge. The processing charge is not charged for the migrant workers and their families. That makes, every service and information provided by the website comes absolutely with no cost to the migrant workers.

We have released the website in beta version and I request to have a look at it (please click here). We are having discussions with banks and central bank in Nepal to have their ownership in the initiative. In the near future, we would add insurance and other financial services to our website. More importantly, we are working hard to make the website into Nepali language with a mobile app so as to increase the coverage among the rural Nepali population (Nepal's mobile phone coverage is close to 100 percent).

The bigger dream we have is to leverage the competition among the remittance companies in Nepal so that the money sent by the migrant workers to their families would incur less cost transferring. We are working with the authorities to introduce a system of 'Remit Card' which would work with a PIN for every individual customer. These cards will help the recipients receive the money sent by their loved ones from any remittance company or banks, regardless of which company has been selected to be sent. Further, the integration of remittance money into channeled banking system will help increase productive use of remittances. 

- Nikunja Bhandari

Sustainable development and teamwork at Enactus France

I was born and I grew-up in the gorgeous city of Paris, France, where my little sister and me were given tons of love by my parents. When I was a kid, I loved animals. I knew so many animals’ names - many more than I can recall today and one of my cousins still makes fun about it now. My dream was to become a veterinary for big wild animals like the ones living in the savannah.

I did not take this path.

After a classical studying path, I ended-up in a business school because my parents were doing business. I had never really been outside of my comfort zone then. Actually, I did not know what a comfort zone was until I had the opportunity to study abroad for a year. This is the point where it all changed. I went to study in New Jersey just next to New York City. Although I come from a Western country, it was quite the experience for me as it was the first time living by myself, within a new environment. This experience made me want to explore more places, to get to know more people and to know myself better.

After only 6 months spent in the US, I took the opportunity to schedule another year of studies abroad for one and a half year later, in Taipei, Taiwan. Taiwan has been another year full of discoveries, travels, encounters and introspection.

During the last quarter of my stay, I wrote a case study as my final thesis, which was about the 2015 Hult Prize winning team’s success factors. I was already sensitive to sustainable development related issues and social entrepreneurship appeared to me as a way to achieve sustainable development. From my business perspective, I’m particularly attracted in putting money at the service of societal development.

Currently, I’m taking a gap year working at Enactus France as a program coordinator. Enactus is an international NGO that is “dedicated to inspiring students to improve the world through entrepreneurial action”, and my role as a program coordinator is to support and guide the teams in their social entrepreneurship projects. Being surrounded by such inspiring, entrepreneurial and positive people makes me want to devote my career to social entrepreneurship, and more specifically into environmentprotection.

I’m currently starting to work on the students’ projects. Each project is unique because of the people constituting the team and the projects themselves. For instance some teams are highly motivated by the social dimension of their project whereas other teams are motivated by the experience itself. Some projects are new and some projects are several years-old.

It’s really interesting to coach a pool of such diverse talents and ideas because I need to adapt my communication, I need flexibility, I have to earn credibility and to be legitimate from the students’ point of view. Right now, most of my teams have to identify the needs of their beneficiaries, meaning that they have to go to the field and talk to the people they want to impact. Some of my other teams have already done it and they now need to think of a sustainable economic model. For the other projects which already have an economic model, they have to pass from theory to action. Finally, for those that are already active, they have to scale their project to have a larger impact.

While working at Enactus, I aim at inspiring students so they realize that yes, they can change the world! I aim at making them realize that anyone can change the world at one’s scale. Many people are taking initiative to make the world a better, more sustainable place. For the majority, each of these people is a tiny drop in the ocean. But if we all decide to use our tiny drop’s influence, then we turn into the strong ocean and it’s possible to change things!

That is the vision that I want to transmit to the students I’m coaching so that in both their personal and professional lives, they use their influence to change the world.

Next month we’re organizing a national seminary where we’re expecting more than 300 students, professors and professionals! We’ll be inspiring one another, reflecting on everybody’s projects, sharing ideas… It’s really what sustainable development is all about: cooperation. One can’t change the world on one’s own but one needs to do one’s fair share of the work.

My big dream for this project is that all the students who took part in the Enactus program realize that they are essential individuals to the society and that their actions influence us all.

Enactus is an international NGO present in 36 countries. We are always looking for reaching out to new countries and new universities. So if you know people from your network who are college students and want to be involved in social business projects, tell them about Enactus and how they can change the world at their scale!

- Simon Billy

Let your ideas take the stage!

My name is Kiran - I'm a community builder from Auckland, New Zealand. I love connecting people, bringing people together, and creative ideas to make the world more awesome. 

One of the things that recently has fascinated me, is the idea of creative side projects or passion projects and where that plays a role in people's lives. There's this notion that people are generally unfulfilled or unengaged by their work, and that doing work that you love is this idyllic, unrealistic life goal or mission. 

I believe people have dreams & ideas that they've buried, or have used the excuse that they don't have enough time or money to start or even think of starting something.  But above all that I generally think people want to do stuff that they love, find time, and see life living passionately not as an unrealistic reality, but a very plausible and forseeable one. 

So I thought what if I gave people a stage, to share their dreams, idea or passions and have an audience of people who loving hearing ideas, seeing ideas come to reality, help them out make it happen. So introducing... Idea Show & Tell - a collaborative event where 5 speakers share their passion projects to an audience who help give input, ideas and suggestions to make their passion project more awesome. 

So far, I've run 4 in Auckland - and had an average of 40 people come to each event, with 5 speakers at each event. It's been extraordinary. Connections I never thought could be made were made. One of the things, that I thought to add in this type of event, was an open space, so after the 5 speakers, there was time for anyone in the audience to stand up and share their idea. 

That's usually where the magic happens. Last week in Idea Show & Tell #4 - someone was recounting how they loved the one for one model, where a consumer buys a product and the company gives that same product to someone in need. He wanted to combine his interest in that model, and a passion for sushi together to explore if he could accomplish a one-for-one sushi shop. Unfortunately, the crowd though were receptive & amused - didn't seem to have any strong leads for any potential helpers. Though right before this person left at the end of the event, someone tapped him on the shoulder and said "Hey, my sister runs a sushi shop, I'm sure she'd be keen to talk to you about your idea!" - He turned in amazement, and enthusiastically agreed. 

I lose about $50 each event, as I serve pizza, give feedback cards to each audience member, pens & drinks. But, I am compensated with the stories of connections being made at Idea Show & Tell. Just recently an Audience member and a Speaker just moved into a flat together. Even crazier than that, I'm now living with them.

So moral of the story, community is awesome.

Embrace the idea of serendipity.

Go to events, meet people.

Stand up and share your ideas - because you never know who you might be talking to.

- Kiran Patel


Teaching English in Taiwan with Ryan

I get two questions everywhere I go, and they are always pertaining to my home state.

1. Can you surf?!

2. Why would you ever leave??

If you haven’t guessed by now, I was born and raised in beautiful Northern California. I know, it is a gorgeous place with a lot of opportunity, but a few years ago I was feeling uncomfortable with my situation. Feeling like I was too comfortable and trapped in this unbearable bubble. I decided to buy a one way ticket to a place so far from what I knew, and it was the best decision of my life.

To the jungles of Malaysian Borneo I went, at first to travel and visit a friend. However being new to this travel thing, money went fast, so I picked up some work – living and guiding clients in the rainforest. I could write a whole new blog post purely about the encounters with wildlife, from life threatening to once in a life time moments. Taking this journey allowed me to travel across South East Asia, hitting all countries but three, before needing to move on and reside elsewhere.

It was by total chance, that I landed here in Taiwan. I did not want to go home after a year and a half, so I sent out teaching resumes to four countries – Brazil, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Taiwan. Within TWO HOURS I received a reply from Taiwan saying they’d love to have me. The only research I had done was that they were in the top four paying countries for ESL teachers, but the decision was made for me, with little cash left I had to go.

Almost two years here in Taiwan, I find myself working to open an Adventure Travel company of my own. Through this journey I have found a purpose, a path that I never would have known of had I stayed in my comfortable bubble in California. I would have never found the work ethic, the open mind and the drive to create like I have now. Travel opened my eyes not just to new cultures, ways of living, and the beauty of the world, but it also opened my eyes to the person I can be inside, the future I can create for myself, and the ways in which I can help the world through doing what I love.

And no, I still don’t know how to surf… Boogie board for life!

- Ryan Hevern
(Here's his company's instagram page)

WWOOFing in Alaska with Julia

Want to know how to travel on the cheap, make friends, learn new skills and find your connection with nature? Go WWOOFing.

WWOOFing is a network of opportunities on organic farms that connects farmers and volunteers. In order to participate on the program you have to decide which country you are going to and after paying a fee to gain full access to the website, allowing you to browse through every farm available in the country of your choice. I spent a month working on a farm in Alaska, with two more WWOOFers. We were in a small city in the Kenai Peninsula called Homer and lived with Carey and her two kids - Liam and Thea.

During my time working on the farm it was very interesting to see how people use a lot of trade and work exchange possibilities in order to get things done. We worked for boat rides, tickets to festivals and traded different types of fish. The power of community became very clear for me, because we always had a house full of friends and different adventures we could go to. July is also the season for subsistence fishing of the Salmon that is going up the Kenai river, and I was able to see Alaskan culture in action. 

I felt less conflicted, more calm and with a greater power for self observation - life was more direct and simple, even while communicating. I have studied Nonviolent Communication during different moments of my life, and it was a great place for practicing awareness and consciousness around that.

For me, as a girl raised in a big city like Rio de Janeiro, I had a wonderful time seeding, planting, transplanting and harvesting - and I finally realized how much effort is put into our food before it arrives to our tables. We also had the opportunity to build a cabin, where we were able to use power tools and learn the step by step of creating your own living space. 

If you are still not sure wether to start WWOOFing I say: take the leap of faith and let (your) true nature catch you while you fall!

- Julia Esteves Abreu

 Work Holiday Visa in Australia with Sara

“One year ago, I took a big leap. A 10,000 mile leap. With an enormous appetite for trying new things, exploring new places and meeting new people, I decided that moving to Sydney, Australia was the next step for me on my ‘to be determined’ life path. While weighing options, continuing forward with my career or continuing to grow through travel and experimental experiences, one soon became the obvious choice.  Star aligned with contacts I had professionally and personally, leading me to both submit a life decision and an application for an Australian Working-Holiday Visa.

With the visa in hand, all that needed to be done was, well, everything. Everything from the flights, to the jobs, to the apartment, to the friends, to the bank account, to the taxes...I could certainly keep going. With the world at my fingertips (google), the research began. Countless forums, blogs, how-to guides, facebook networking for any and all insight on my future home or how to best orchestrate the multiple strings needed throughout the ‘migration’ process were just some of the ways in which I tried to manage this (to some) crazy move. It truly is incredible how many resources we do have in today’s generation, someone’s information can easily, and without even knowing it, can become incredibly insightful for a stranger halfway across the world. Pretty cool.  

The date was picked, the flight was made and the massive google doc of everything I had researched had been completed.  Before I knew it, my one-way flight of mystery was boarding. I walked down the airbridge, stepping closer and closer to the absolute unknown with a job, friends, a home.

Within one week of securely planting my feet in Sydney, I wasted no time getting settled and started in this new Australian life. Since I had traveled through Australia before as a backpacker, my need to take the time to travel more was placed on the backburner and away I went, learning how to prepare my CV the ’Australian way', understanding their job hiring process, physically dropping off resumes, looking up housing through local search engines and apps, trying to be social and enjoy the amazingness of a new place. Essentially, trying my best to sell myself as an American ex-pat professionally and socially to the Australian market. Thankfully, things fell into place.

Shortly after my arrival, I landed two jobs that fit the bill and my background and in just two weeks I was working in Sydney,  about to sign a lease for an apartment, reuniting with old contacts and making new friends. There is, of course, the joy of figuring out non-resident taxes, attempting sponsorship, switching jobs after six months just when you get whether you take it as it comes, pre-plan or maybe just wing it, it will come together. Admittedly, there were times when I felt incredibly uninformed, but you ask questions, talk to the right people and next thing you know, you’re the one telling someone else in a similar position all about the immigration policies. Now, with my one year working-holiday visa under wraps, it looks like I am not ready to leave…

Cheers to Australia Year Two.

- Sara Everest Becker

Step 2: Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Now that you've started your journey discovering what your main competencies are, it's time to start moving towards the direction you want to explore and grow with. 

We know you've probably seen many articles about this subject, but it keeps being an important and recurring issue among young changemakers. Getting our of your comfort zone takes a lot of work and consistency. But there are small steps that can help you move away from what's limiting you.  

There are lots of ways to start. You could learn a new language or skill. Connect with people that inspire you, or volunteer with an organization that does great work. Travel, whether you go around the block or across the globe. The point is that you're doing it, and you're pushing yourself past the mental blocks that tell you to do nothing.

According to this article at these 4 attitudes can help you get there:

  • Do everyday things differently. Take a different route to work. Try a new restaurant without checking Yelp first. Go vegetarian for a week, or a month. Try a new operating systemRecalibrate your reality. Whether the change you make is large or small, make a change in the way you do things on a day-to-day basis. Look for the perspective that comes from any change, even if it's negative. Don't be put off if things don't work out the way you planned.
  • Take your time making decisions. Sometimes slowing down is all it takesto make you uncomfortable—especially if speed and quick thinking are prized in your work or personal life. Slow down, observe what's going on, take your time to interpret what you see, and then intervene. Sometimes just defending your right to make an educated decision can push you out of your comfort zone. Think, don't just react.
  • Trust yourself and make snap decisions. We're contradicting ourselves, but there's a good reason. Just as there are people who thrive on snap decisions, others are more comfortable weighing all of the possible options several times, over and over again. Sometimes making a snap call is in order, just to get things moving. Doing so can help you kickstart your personal projects and teach you to trust your judgement. It'll also show you there's fallout to quick decisions as well as slow ones.
  • Do it in small steps. It takes a lot of courage to break out of your comfort zone. You get the same benefits whether you go in with both feet as you do if you start slow, so don't be afraid to start slow. If you're socially anxious, don't assume you have to muster the courage to ask your crush on a date right away, just say hello to them and see where you can go from there. Identify your fears, and then face them step by step.

So what are you waiting for? Start today and share your experience with us on Facebook and participate in our challenge to win a spot at The Institute For The Future conference in April.

Program Review: StartingBloc

So here I am, Cristal, trying to put into words and share with you how my experience was with the StartingBloc Institute. Before beginning, fair warning that I will have to give some thanks to some people, because I do believe that together we reach our goals much faster, and because the people mentioned are incredible, and everyone should know them!

Some time ago, I joined a team of great people who shares the same sense of urgency for change. People with incredible experiences, diverse world views, able to bring good viewpoints to a heavy conversation, and the good sense to say when they need to study something more to better position themselves. These guys showed me that we can do much individually, but that we have much more to learn together. We are an internationally connected group, spread across all continents, with a huge range of interests and knowledge. Finally, we’re a group working for the sake of diversity, inclusion, empowerment, the wisdom, curiosity, disruption..

This group is called International Connector (thanks to CEO Marti Grimminck for imagining and creating it).

Interacting with millennial catalysts brought me a very warm feeling to know you have a gang acting, transforming the environment in which they are entering, and helping to spread beyond borders our voice. Through the IC, I had the pleasure of meeting Jeremy Pesner, my bridge to the StarntingBloc (thanks for all the help, Jeremy!).

Cristal at the StartingBloc Institute in LA, 2016.

Cristal at the StartingBloc Institute in LA, 2016.


The five-day Institute has already happened. We had lunch and dinner together, danced and sang together, reflected together and on ourselves, our values nd our goals. We asked for help, and became willing to help. We challenge ourselves to fail, and surprisingly failed to fail. We sat and listened, raised and ‘prototyped’. We had mentors (thank you for your dedication and caring, Megan Madj), who helped us at every phase of the operation. We find ourselves as individuals, and best of all, as a community that goes beyond the five days we were together. We are part of a much larger group that wants and is making a difference, and is innovative, and incredibly connected.

In the StartingBloc Institute, every day is designed so that you have an evolution from where you are to where you want to be. The program also evolves with you. Feedback is very welcome, because you not only understand how valuable recognition is, but also that you need to improve, learn, test, fail, and thus make progress. You learn that "but" is much better if it’s an "and". Moreover, you learn that you are not alone and snaps are valuable and stimulating. Even though StartingBloc is just for five days, it's for a lifetime.

The SB Institute is made possible by the exceptional work of CEO Cesar, who together with his team, give life to this experience and took care so everyone can be even better than they think they are .

The SB and the IC are connected by much more than one person. They share the same contagious energy that encourages you to always seek more knowledge, to question standards, to see the world through the eyes of someone else. Both are made up of young people who are leaders in their jobs, cities, and even countries and both are schools where you can be student and teacher at the same time.

My thank you to all of you who are part of these two communities. You are amazing!



Meet YBY Champion: Marcela Fernandez

Your Big Year was what I called a Eureka moment in my life. 

It showed me that when you think doors are shut, incredible opportunities can come if you believe they exist. 

I was looking for a way to travel an make an impact in the world not as a backpacker but as a meaningful traveler. I didn't really know how to do this but I was in a life moment we're I had just decide to take a non conventional path towards alternative education and I wanted to Believe that the world could be my classroom. 

Your big year appear in my life as a light in my journey. Eight months of challenges and connections and an incredible week in San Francisco, where the real revelation happen...a group of people traveling together could actually make an impact in the communities they were visiting. It could become a learning journey. 

Marcela and onboarders in Medellin, Colombia.

Marcela and onboarders in Medellin, Colombia.

A month after your big year the big aha moment happened when in the middle of the Sierra Madre in Mexico, visiting the tarahumara tribes the idea was's going to be called ON BOARD an it will the metaphor of a school bus using traveling as an engine to learn. 

Finally the world could be a classroom and traveling will become a transformative experience. 

Today I am the founder of ON BOARD because Your Big Year was that catapult in my life to start asking myself more questions and wanting to answer them by creating what I thought was non existing yet. 

I became an entrepreneur an although it hasn't been an easy journey I am extremely convinced that after YBY every year can be my big year if I live living my passion.  I discover the truest meaning of traveling with YBY!

Win a spot at the Institute For The Future Conference

The Institute For The Future is offering a YBY participant an entry to their annual conference in San Francisco.  And the best part is that you will attend via a BEAM!  Successful completion of this months' task will put you in the running to win the spot. Be front and center with Fortune 500 companies learning about the future as you represent youth worldwide.

To get a chance to win this spot, you only need 4 things:

  1. Read our program's first step here and learn about how to get your journey started
  2. Download our logo
  3. Take a picture of yourself with our logo. In the picture, make sure to show something or some place that represents who you are (it can be of an activity that you enjoy, a place you love, an issue you care about, a representation of your talents...or anything else that reflects YOU!)
  4. Share the picture with us in our Facebook page using the hashtag #mybigyear!

We are so excited to share this journey with you! Stay tuned for the following steps into our program and to more opportunities.

Check out our first Newsletter here!

Step 1: YOU


At Your Big Year, we believe that the most important change you can do in the world starts with you. 

To start your journey, we encourage you to know yourself. To visit what are your weaknesses and strengths. To discover your competencies in helping yourself and others.

Here are some optional exercises inspired by the Dalai Lama Fellows curriculum to help you go through this process:

EXERCISE1: Take The Four Tendencies Quiz by Gretchen Rubin. This 10 minute quiz may help you understand whether you are an upholder, questioner, obliger, or
rebel. This will help you determine how you balance expectations others have of you with expectations you have for yourself. It’s a great framework for designing better habits, but, like any personality test, please take it with a grain of salt.

EXERCISE 2: Take the Enneagram personality test. The Enneagram helps you determine your identification with nine archetypes-- perfectionist; helper; achiever; romantic; observer; questioner; adventurer; asserter; and peacemaker. The archetype(s) you embody
can change over time and most of us are a mix of several of these archetypes. Learning more
can help you find patterns in your behavior and identify how you show up in times of security versus in times of stress. You can access a brief overview of its interpretation here.

EXERCISE 3Learn how to make a mind map to unleash you brain's creativity and share it with us in our Facebook page using the hashtag #myfutureyby!

image source: Mindtools