Sarah Strasberg is a 17-year-old student from the United States who is passionate about Fair Trade and advocating human rights, spreading awareness and campaigning for change. We’re pretty proud to say she is also a Future Leader of the Year! She spoke to us about the impact the competition had on her communication skills…
Why did you enter The Future Leaders Project?
I entered The Future Leaders Project because it was a great opportunity for me to grow personally and to further my human rights advocacy. Because I wanted to become a more capable, knowledgeable, and visionary leader, I thought having a mentor and a broad network of leaders would help me to grow my abilities. In addition, I am always looking for opportunities to spread awareness about human rights abuses with many different groups, and this was a wonderful chance to do that.
What did you get from it?
I learned to be a more effective communicator through The Future Leaders Project. When I first began my pitch, I was having trouble adhering to the structure because I valued telling a story more than making my message clear. With the guidance in the breakout room development sessions, I learned first to make my message straightforward, and then to make it creative. It’s like baking a cake: I learned to put the flour and the sugar and the eggs in before I started decorating. This made my message much more impactful.
I also learned the value of good feedback. I discovered that when I gave really detailed feedback to other leaders, it not only helped them convey their message more effectively, but it also helped me to understand my own message better. Interacting with leaders internationally also helped broaden my worldview and perspective on leadership, and I was really inspired by the other leaders.
Why is this learning important?
This learning is important because effective communication is essential for the projects I’m working on right now. One project I’m leading involves trying to pass a law to protect human rights internationally. A lot of what we do is take really complicated legal and ethical processes and make them simple and easy for anyone to understand, so learning about effective communication will help me to express these ideas better and get more people to support human rights.
My team and I have clearer goals because I learned the value of good feedback through this opportunity. After participating in the leadership development sessions, I started to encourage more reflection and innovation in our campaign, which has helped make our advocacy and goals better thought out and more direct. For example, we began recruiting more people for our cause, working with business and doing outreach work because of the value of feedback.
What’s next for you?
In the short-term, my team and I are growing our impact with human rights. We are continuing to work with the U.S. Congress to get our draft amendment passed, and we’ve been reaching out to the press in order to spread awareness and create public pressure to act on human rights injustices.
In the long-term, I’m working on my goals to become an entrepreneur and a human rights advocate. I’m in the Future Business Leaders club at school, and I enjoy reading business books and using my imagination to come up with solutions for problems.
Tell us more about the impact this will have on your community?
The leadership development skills I’ve learned here will help my team and me to better educate our community on human rights advocacy, which will help our community to be more unified in support of international social justice. I also have more confidence in myself as a leader because of The Future Leaders Project.
If you want to know more about the Future Leaders Project, or if you know anyone who can support Sarah please get in touch with email@example.com.