As a child, you heard your parents talk about how your generation would take over one day, or at the very least you’ve heard more than one person on TV tell you that “our children are our future.” But how do we inspire our children to think of a better future? How do we take their innovative, sometimes downright crazy ideas and turn into reality? That’s where the Millennial Train comes in.
The Millennial Trains Project (MTP) is a non-profit organization that brings together tomorrow’s thought leaders in a rolling think tank to further their ideas and think about the legacy they want to leave behind. With a little help from the U.S. Department of State Fulbright Program and Comcast/NBCUniversal, participants are taken on a journey of discovery led by mentors and local leaders in culture and business.
Our friends over at Innovators Peak have been running a great web series of profiles on some of the Millennials that decided to ride the rails this year. We wanted to share some of those awesome stories with you, and the great interviews they shot while on the train. Check ’em out:
The Urban Farmer
Al-Quzweeni left Iraq and came to America to go to school and eventually board the Millennial Train because she needed a change and she wanted to learn about her generation and what motivates them. Her Millennial Trains project was an examination of best practices in agriculture which will culminate in a model of urban farming that could be utilized in several different settings.
Lydia’s Millennial Trains project focused on collecting data from trauma-affected communities to create a course on resilience at the University of California. Lydia has a B.A. in Communications from Indiana University, and seeks to take what she’s learned on the Millennial Train to benefit military and Veteran communities.
The Youth Hacker
Priforce’s Qeyno Labs is a leading provider in youth hackathons and seeks to empower youth of low-opportunity environments by providing access to technology and education. His Millennial Trains project was to launching a new form of Hackathon—The Gathering of Nations Hackathon that focuses on Native youth on and off reservation communities.
The Female Tech Entrepreneur
Sok’s MTP project focused on promoting her blog, Faces of Women in Tech, a place to follow technology’s female leaders. She seeks to inspire young women to enter her field and hopes to spotlight as many women in tech as possible to make their presence known. Pichleap met several local women in technology along her MTP journey and interviewed them for her blog. The interviews explore the course of each woman’s career and obstacles they overcame.
The Social Commentator
Keeling founded Citizens of Culture, a media platform that seeks to inspire young people to take an active role in shaping the future and changing the world. The site encourages contributions from poetry to social commentary, and there is a non-fiction book club offshoot that culminates in real-time Twitter chats in which users can critically analyze and discuss the reads.
The Social Innovator
Zukowska’s Millennial Trains project focused on the first ever Opportunity Pipeline Fellowship that will support the next generation of social innovators who stand to solve the major immigration challenges facing the U.S. Zukowska currently works as the Media Manager for Ashoka’s Changemakers, a program that utilizes Ashoka’s network of social entrepreneurs to bring accelerated change to social issues around the world.
Leading a GenHERation
Katlyn Grasso is a recent graduate from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Fresh out of undergrad, she’s already kicking butt, taking names, and empowering young women nationwide.
Grasso, who grew up a Girl Scout in Hamburg, New York, received a lot of support from her father and was raised to believe she could do anything, regardless of gender. When she started at Penn and realized so many young women felt restricted by gender roles, she founded GenHERation, a female empowerment network for high school girls.
GenHERation pairs young women with nonprofits and corporations to launch advocacy campaign, acts as an informational resource for young women, and even offers scholarships.
The Millennial Train has completed it’s trip this year, but we’re sure another batch of bright young millennials will pick up right where they left off. What kind of global issues will they try to solve next year?