Greetings once again from St. Louis in what is my last official address of 2015.
As we reflect back on this year, my heart is full as I think about the incredible effort that JCI members have put in to create positive change on every level.
During my time as a member starting from 2005 till today, I have experienced a true change and may say that I am totally transformed. This has been an exciting journey of becoming and being an active citizen through development opportunities and learning by doing.
In my travels I have been overwhelmed by the creativity, passion and drive that I have seen in young active citizens around the world to create positive change. You can easily see a small reflection of this from the more than 450,000 lives impacted through Project Impact 100 in 2015. Truly this movement is made up of great people who desire to see peace and prosperity for all.
With JCI, I have learned as Audrey Hepburn says, “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”
2015 has been a year unlike any other for JCI. We have driven ourselves further than ever before to unite all sectors of society for sustainable impact. We celebrated 100 years of impact with projects and activities and spread the news about what JCI has been doing for the past century. We published a report to showcase how young people contributed to achieving the Millennium Development Goals and adopted the new Global Goals for Sustainable Development. JCI was one of the first youth-led organizations to adopt these goals through signing the Kanazawa Declaration at our 2015 JCI World Congress. This demonstrated a strong commitment to our future, a declaration of interdependence and our care for each other.
This was a year of connection. We made connections between local and international communities and connections between JCI members and fellow active citizens across all sectors of society. We collected information and resources to bridge the past with today and the future.
As JCI President, I am proud and feel blessed to represent our beloved organization in such a special period. This would not be possible without the support of the great team called TEAM ONE who played a critical part in all we accomplished this year.
Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
This year, I felt empowered. I hope that you also feel the impact of JCI and the impact of our 100th Anniversary.
We are poised and ready for the next century of impact, and I truly believe that it will be even greater than the one before as we build on the success and things we have learned to mobilize young people for action. The world desperately needs young people who care about their communities and the future of our society. Thank you for your commitment.
I wish you all a wonderful and joyous holiday season and Happy New Year!
Keep on smiling and creating impact in 2016 and beyond!