Introducing a New Blog Contributor

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Youth CITIES has drawn some very positive attention lately.

Last month, Youth CITIES was selected to participate in an open source philanthropy event sponsored by TUGG (Technology Underwriting the Greater Good). We represented ourselves very well and had the opportunity to introduced the concept of our program to over 600 young professionals, most of whom work in technology-related fields in Greater Boston.  We ended up receiving some grant funding from TUGG as a result of the attendees votes!

After the event, we received tons of positive feedback. Many people have expressed interest in learning more about Youth CITIES, and some have already volunteered to donate their time and expertise to helping our organization grow.

One of our new fans is Mark Kampert, a student of sustainability, project manager, and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, who will be contributing to our website as a guest blogger. We would like to take this opportunity to allow Mark to introduce himself to the Youth CITIES community…

Greetings, Youth CITIES!

My name is Mark, and you should know up front that I am a Steelers’ Fan. (I hope all of you Brady/Belichick/Gronk-lovers will learn not to hold that against me.)

Born and raised in a small town outside of Pittsburgh, PA, I was the first in my family to go to college. I began with the intention of going on to medical school and studied mathematics and science at Bucknell University. However, I quickly found that life had much more to offer outside of my small corner of PA, and college provided a platform for the entrepreneurial spirit inside me to explore the world.

After graduating from Bucknell, I joined the Peace Corps and was sent to teach math and English in a rural village in Namibia (southern Africa). The land was beautiful. The culture was humbling. The people were amazing. The students were inspiring. The work was hard. The experience was priceless. And, my life would never be the same.

When I came back to the U.S., I went to graduate school to study business and sustainability, and I moved to Boston in early 2012 to work at a nonprofit organization assisting community college students who want to transfer to four-year universities where they can pursue a baccalaureate degree.

In my years, I have learned that life is about opportunity. Maybe you’ve heard that before. But, the tricky thing about opportunity is that it requires multiples actions on our part:  First, we must be open enough recognize it; Then, we must be comfortable enough to seize it, and; Finally, we must be brave enough to thrive in it.

When I first learned about Youth CITIES, I got very excited. I immediately recognized the great potential for the program to expose young people to innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustainability. I believe the program can help young people begin to recognize, seize, and thrive in a wide array of opportunities. And, the sooner in life people can learn to explore and work together to creatively solve problems, the greater an impact they will have in shaping our better future. That’s why I want to help Ms. Vicky and Youth CITIES be successful. I only hope that as a blog contributor my words will help inspire you to be great!


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