What was the event?
I spoke with a group of students from the International School of Americas in Texas. They were in Little Rock visiting Heifer International, Little Rock Central High, and the Clinton School.
What was your specific task?
I was tasked with engaging students in a discussion about their possible future in public service. Their high school program – and they were 9th graders – is focused on a global view. They are learning about sustainability in the environment by looking at topics from a global perspective. They were very interested in the Clinton Library and impressed that it is [a LEEDS-certified] Platinum Level building.
Describe your overall experience – anything you learned?
I had a wonderful time engaging them and getting them to laugh and answer questions and wanted to really open up the dialog with them about their impact on the world. I was impressed with how passionate and engaged they were at such a young age. I am very hopeful that they will continue on with their education and desire to become the change they wish to see in the world.
People think its difficult to motivate young people to care and be apart of a community, but I disagree. Spending an hour with those students reinforced my belief that young people do care, that they are engaged and compassionate. They simply need a direction in which to channel that passion. It was an honor to speak not at them but with them about the rewards of public service.