Leading by Example

Why does the topic of “integrating the youth” in almost every agenda and association that I happen to be a part of and yet never gets fulfilled?

For the past several years now, I’ve been pondering this question and have decided to do something about it – only to get sidelined due to “lack of funds,” or “lack of understanding.”

Well, apparently, there is funds to hold conventions and events that host an open bar and chit chat amongst the same group of people over and over again (with the topic of immersing the youth coming up at least once), yet to actually DO something about it is way too risky – or they tell someone like myself – an individual wishing for our community to progress to “Shut Up,” and stay in her own lane.

I guess I can say I’m a little different than the rest of the Keralite youth in America to the extent that I chose to immerse myself with my community from a young age – simply because of the arts, traditions and richness it provided me and the concept of family as well as long lasting friendships.

I’ll be transparent: as a first generation college graduate and Indian born America, I’ve faced challenges alone to which I wished I had a mentor to guide me through. When it came to college applications, selection of my passion course and career, to find inspiration within my own community was sparse…

However, I was fortunate enough to have met some people (one within the Keralite community and a few through college), to help guide me through the levels of life and encouraged me to plough through and make a difference. 

And that’s exactly what I plan on doing.

I plan on coordinating a Youth Leadership Summit to help break the stale saying of “immersing the youth in our community” by actually doing something about it. I am bringing esteemed leaders and speakers to talk about their experiences and have one on one interaction with first and second generation Keralite youth. My goal is to sponsor 150 youth (2 from each member organization) to attend this event and get involved.

But I can’t do this alone. I need your help and support. Unfortunately, coordinating something like this takes financial efforts. I’ve spoken to plenty of people who I assumed would help out and come forward and revitalizing our community name, but no such luck – other than wishing me all the best in my endeavors.

Any amount – no matter how small or big will help in making this event come to life.  So I implore all of you, what can I and a small team comprised of willing youth and progressive adults do to convince you that this convention is the stepping stone to change in our community? Would you tell us to “Shut Up?” Or would you help us out with what you can albeit it funds or advice? 

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