30 for 30 Alumni Publication

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21st Century Leaders'

30 FOR 30 ALUM NI AWARDS Celebrating 30 outstanding alumni from the last 30 years.

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"Good habits formed at youth make all the difference." - Aristotle


LETTER FROM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR With 30 years gone by and over 14,000 high school students served, 21st Century Leaders' commitment to empowering the next generation of diverse leaders from all across Georgia is as relevant today as it was when we launched in 1989. We're connecting, transforming, and inspiring young people who all have the potential to lead, but need to be given an opportunity. An opportunity to connect with diverse peers and passionate professionals. An opportunity to develop those leadership and life skills that aren't taught in the classroom. An opportunity and an experience that will inspire each of them to be leaders in their schools, communities, and careers long after high school. As our 30th Anniversary comes to a close, we could not think of a better way to celebrate our success as an organization than recognizing and highlighting 30 program alumni from the last 30 years. As you'll read in this publication, this diverse group of exceptional program alumni are being recognized for leading the way in business, leadership, community, educational, and philanthropic endeavors. While leadership is a journey and no one journey is alike, for these leaders it all started the same way - with 21st Century Leaders. It's rewarding to see the full impact of our programs, to see each of these honoree's commitment to giving back and serving others, and to even see alumni working for the same companies that initially invested in them in high school. Congratulations to these 30 outstanding alumni; and to all of our alumni over the last 30 years. May you all continue to embody the values of a 21st Century Leader - passionate, resourceful, forward thinking, leverages diversity, and service oriented. We hope you continue to inspire those around you today and into the future. Sincerely,

Kate Hewitt Executive Director 21st Century Leaders

Thank you to our nine-member Selection Committee comprised of our Board of Directors and our Advisory Council. We appreciate your time and leadership. Board - Jon Neff, Steven Staes, Michael White Advisory - Dennis Adamovich, Art Evans, Ellen Lindemann, Rosalynne Price, Kathy Solley, and Mike Szalkowski w w w.21st cen t u r yleader s.or g



30 FOR 30 ALUM NI AWARDEES Ju lia Abelsk y 21CL Year s: 2011-2013 Hom et ow n: Atlanta

Cu r r en t Locat ion : San Francisco, CA

Edu cat ion : North Springs Charter HS (2013); Northwestern University (2017) Occu pat ion : Product Manager on Pages at LinkedIn At 24 years old, Julia is the Product Manager on Pages at LinkedIn and leads a team of engineers, designers, and marketers. She recently led a global product strategy for senior leaders at LinkedIn - a $500M business opportunity. She has worked across San Francisco, Mountain View, and Ireland offices to accelerate creating economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce. Within three years of employment at LinkedIn, Julia has been recognized with three LinkedIn employee awards. Outside of official work, Julia devotes her time serving as the Director of Recruitment, a program facilitator, and a member of the California Board of Directors of HOBY. Julia is also the president and founder of an Atlanta- based community service initiative, Operation Smile, that is focused on combating food insecurity in Atlanta?s economically disadvantaged communities, which she founded while in high school and has maintained for 10 years. Operation Smile has hosted 40+ events and fundraised $30,000 of goods for the community. Julia regularly volunteers for many other organizations, including Hoku Relay and Back on My Feet San Francisco. Looking forward, Julia strives to build a philanthropy platform which leverages data to address social problems, enables non-profits to collaborate, and reduces the inequality in access to data. This effort combines Julia?s professional experience, passion for data, and commitment to equipping nonprofits to achieve their full potential at a global scale. Julia credits 21CL for playing an essential role in shaping her into the leader she is; she went from a participant in a Summer Leadership Institute, to a President of the 21CLub at North Springs to a Youth Ambassador and then to serving on 21CL's inaugural Junior Board of Directors. It was through this journey that she found her inspiration? equipping and supporting individuals and organizations to achieve their full potential. In spir at ion al Qu ot e: ?Challenges make life interesting. Overcoming them makes life meaningful."

Kh ar i Ar n old 21CL Year s: 2010-2012 Hom et ow n : Atlanta

Cu r r en t Locat ion : Atlanta, GA

Edu cat ion : Westlake HS (2011); Howard University (2015) Occu pat ion : Senior Producer at NBA.com Khari is currently a Senior Producer for NBA.com, a branch of WarnerMedia. At 21 years old, Khari became the youngest person ever to be hired as a digital producer at NBA.com. Within a year, he was promoted to Senior Producer in 2016 where he remains as the lead producer for NBA.com and the NBA App. It was his first connection to Turner in high school through 21st Century Leaders that he gives credit to his working there today. Both his participation in the summer leadership institute, sponsored by Turner (now WarnerMedia), and his summer internship right after high school allowed him to reaffirm his career focus and maintain his connection and network of professionals he met. Outside of his official duties, Khari mentors elementary/middle, high school and college students through 21st Century Leaders, Howard University Alumni Association, National Association of Black Journalists Convention and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Khari?s priority as a leader is to never stop learning as life never stops teaching, while also being sure to enjoy the experiences that come with life alongside his family and friends. In spir at ion al Qu ot e: ?You don't go through life, you grow through life?.

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M ich ael Asm elash 21CL Year s: 2008-2009 Hom et ow n : Stone Mountain

Cu r r en t Locat ion : New York City

Edu cat ion : Tucker HS (2009); University of Georgia (2013) Occu pat ion : Senior Manager at Live Nation Entertainment Michael is a pioneering marketing manager partnering with global brands at the forefront of media and entertainment. He has worked for Creative Artists Agency, Calvin Klein, NBCUniversal, and most recently at Live Nation Entertainment in New York. It was at NBCUniversal where he spearheaded NBCUniversal's first and only cross-network, year-long network marketing campaign, executed the NBCUniversal's first ever co-branded Facebook Collection ad, executed E!'s first ever co-branded Snapchat creative in partnership with Snapchat's official creative, and was the only marketing manager to achieve network priority partnership renewal for E! Live from the Red Carpet. As a first-generation born, Ethiopian-American, Michael is now the Senior Manager, Integrated Marketing at Live Nation Entertainment and has been recognized with several awards within his industry. Michael has always had a genuine interest in impactful storytelling, global brands and people; the cultural experiences and unique opportunities have all fueled Michael?s hunger and passion for continuing to thrive in the industry and in turn, pay his good fortune forward. He is currently developing a creative platform focusing on relatable content through the lens of the African diaspora and other underrepresented voices. Outside of his official duties, he proactively volunteers and mentors with non-profits, including 21st Century Leaders. When Michael reviews all of what his career has afforded him, he credits 21CL for helping him discover his passion for social enterprise and helping him exercise his business acumen. In spir at ion al Qu ot e: ?Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.?-James Baldwin

Taylor Ben f or d 21CL Year s: 2011-2012 Hom et ow n : Atlanta

Cu r r en t Locat ion : Atlanta, GA

Edu cat ion : Whitefield Academy (2012); Howard University (2016) Occu pat ion : Management Consulting Senior Analyst at Accenture Taylor is currently a Management Consulting Senior Analyst for Accenture overseeing three large clients and specializing in finance business process design. Prior to that she worked at Johnson & Johnson as a Financial Analyst. Beyond her day-to-day work, she's making investment and commitment in fostering diversity and inclusiveness at work as well as in the community. She serves as the Co-Chair for the Engagement Committee of the Atlanta Analyst Action Team in Accenture's Atlanta office, organizing monthly Q&A sessions for new junior analysts. She also volunteers with Accenture's Recruiting team on college campuses, including serving as an ally to speak on inclusivity and pro-LGBTQ+ policies and resources at Accenture. Taylor is heavily involved in the community and is personally committed to serving under-served youth and young professionals for the last 7 years, and specifically to programs she was afforded in high school and college. She has donated hundreds of hours through her service on the inaugural Junior Board of Directors for 21st Century Leaders, volunteer work with Atlanta Regional Committee for A Better Chance, Junior Achievement, and as flash Mentor & Scholar Alumni for Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO). Taylor credits 21st Century Leaders for giving her the foundation to grow into a confident servant-leader that would influence others. She says the program exposed her to elevator pitches, networking with business executives, and presenting case studies at age 16 and was a great catalyst in her development as a leader. Taylor went to Howard University where she was able to make an immediate impact by being selected for the Freshman Leadership Academy and the School of Business Student Council. In spir at ion al Qu ot e: "When the world tells you to shrink, expand."


M ar ia Flor es Black bu r n 21CL Year s: 2009-2011 Hom et ow n : Woodstock

Cu r r en t Locat ion : Woodstock, GA

Edu cat ion : Etowah HS (2011); Reinhardt University (2015) Occu pat ion : Certified Public Accountant/Tax Advisor at Southern Company Maria is a Bilingual Certified Public Accountant with five years of experience as a business and individual tax adviser. She currently works at Southern Company, a Fortune 200 company. A position that became full-circle as the first program she participated in with 21st Century Leaders was our summer leadership institute EarthCare, supported by Georgia Power - a subsidiary of Southern Company. Maria was born in Mexico before moving to the United States at the age of 5. Maria says 21st Century Leaders was the one that provided her with the tools she needed to reach her full leadership potential which impacted her college and professional careers. As a first-generation college-bound student and DREAMER, Maria went on to become Student Body President at Reinhardt University and was selected as the commencement speaker at her Graduation Ceremony in 2015. Maria has served on the Board of Directors for 21st Century Leaders for three years. As the youngest current board member, she took on the role as Board Treasurer in 2018, becoming the second person to hold that position in the organization's 30-year history. She volunteers and gives back to numerous organizations and most proudly became a US Citizen on September 11, 2019. In spir at ion al Qu ot e: ?At the end of the day it?s not about what you have or even what you?ve

Tia Bolden 21CL Year s: 2012-2013 Hom et ow n : Decatur

Cu r r en t Locat ion : New Orleans, LA

Edu cat ion : Arabia Mountain HS (2013); Savannah State University (2017); University of Louisville (2019) Occu pat ion : Electrical Manufacturing Engineer at The Boeing Company, at the NASA Assembly Facility Tia is an Electrical and Manufacturing Engineer for The Boeing Company in New Orleans at the NASA Assembly Facility. Her current project includes processing and implementation for NASA?s next rocket headed to Mars. At 23, Tia completed her Master 's in Engineering in 2019 and was honored as Technology Student Association Alumni of the Year. She serves on Boeing's Reach Committee, which does community outreach supporting military and veterans, is currently her company?s representative for The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and is a member of the Young Professionals Association. Tia is certified in AutoCAD 3D Drafting, Six Sigma Production, MatLab and Adobe CS4 professional suite. She is also a past recipient of the Barack Obama Presidential Service Award. Outside of her studies, she enjoys entrepreneurship, graphic design, motivational speaking, athletic activities and networking. Tia has recently been providing scholarships to high school seniors at her Alma Mater - Arabia Mountain H.S. Beyond her work at NASA, Tia successfully maintains 5 streams of income, owning three Limited Liability Companies. At age 14, Tia created her own Graphics company titled ?Technology In Action," known today as TIA Graphics, LLC. She is the creator of the 21st Century Leaders 30th Anniversary Logo, which was voted number one via online submissions in the graphics competition earlier this year. In January, Tia created Aspire To FIRE Investing, LLC, Financial Literacy & Awareness, a personal investing educational group tailored towards the growth of millennials through financial education. She credits professional experience, educational exceptionalism and networking professionalism to 21st Century Leaders. In spir at ion al Qu ot e: ?One day you'll look back and be thankful you gave yourself a chance.?? The Tia Bolden.

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Kat h er in e Br yan t 21CL Year s: 2000-2003 Hom et ow n : Atlanta

Cu r r en t Locat ion : Washington D.C. /Alexandria, VA

Edu cat ion : Lakeside High School (2003); Presbyterian College (2007); American University (2009) Occu pat ion : Middle School Teacher at St. Stephens and St. Agnes School, Alexandria, Virginia Katherine is a dedicated educator and servant leader focused on educating and empowering communities across the world for over a decade. In South India, she worked with sustainable agriculture and fishing communities, taught within the local preschool and worked with the higher education faculty in the Kerala state, South India. She then went on to work in sustainable urban farming in the Washington D.C. area and in London. For the last few years, she's been designing new curriculum for multiple schools in the Washington D.C. area, and increased membership to seven D.C.-area schools for professional development and shared best practices. She's also consulting for both domestic and international civic education programs. Katherine?s greatest joy as a teacher has been the opportunity to build trusting relationships with students by facilitating discourse and experiences that help students develop compassion alongside intellect and cause them to see themselves as integral to building and sustaining flourishing communities. In that spirit, the thoughtful programming of 21st Century Leaders coupled with the committed and diverse group of leaders and mentors that she has engaged with modeled for her what healthy communities look like - and shaped her into the servant leader she is and a positive community member. She's an active member and volunteer of her church and with Girls on the Run - D.C. Earlier this year, Katherine split her time as a refugee resettlement volunteer in Lesvos, Greece and this summer as a program coordinator for Johns Hopkins University's talent identification program, which is in partnership with Northwestern University and is focused on civic leadership. In spir at ion al Qu ot e: ?Love is never stimulated apart from community"? C.S.Lewis

Gr eg Clay 21CL Year s: 1999-2000 Hom et ow n : Atlanta

Cu r r en t Locat ion : Atlanta, GA

Edu cat ion : Benjamin E. Mays HS (2000); Florida A&M University (2005); University of Kansas (2008) Occu pat ion : Senior Strategist & Partner at Lieneur Consulting Group From his early years, Greg has been inspired by Dr. Benjamin E. Mays' quote on goal setting: ?Not failure, but low aim is sin." He graduated from Florida A & M University as a first-generation college graduate, and later graduated with honors from the top-ranked M.P.A. program at the University of Kansas. As a professional, Greg has worked with six different municipalities in three different states, serving his community along the way, was recognized by President Barack Obama for his volunteer service, and received the distinguished Whitney Young Jr. Award from the Atlanta Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He also founded Atlanta Speaks Initiative in 2011 which utilizes public speakers in creative ways to reach young people . He also serves/served on numerous educational community boards including Chairman of Skyview Charter H.S., Past Chairman and Board members of APS CTAE District, President of Benjamin Mays H.S. Alumni Association, and Chairman of Men of B.O.O.K. Advisory Council, just to name a few. Greg says he was introduced to 21st Century Leaders at a pivotal time in his development as a teenager. He had just received the ?Most Improved Student? award in his high school class, and his counselor believed that 21CL would reinforce leadership conversations they were having during the semester. Greg says his counselor was right; the program helped him to learn to be a better leader and team player, and it connected him to lifelong friends outside of Atlanta. The program helped him set better goals, become a better person, a great networker, a better student, and go back to high school the following semester to become the President of his high school senior class. As an adult Greg continued his leadership development, participating in the following leadership programs; LEAD Atlanta, Outstanding Atlanta, and the New Leaders Council. In spir at ion al Qu ot e: ?Not failure, but low aim is sin.?? Dr. Benjamin E. Mays


Jacqu e-Cor ey Cor m ier , Ph D 21CL Year s: 2003-2005 Hom et ow n : Decatur

Cu r r en t Locat ion : Atlanta, GA

Edu cat ion : Southwest DeKalb HS (2006); Morehouse College (2010); Georgia Southern University, (2012); Georgia State University-Ph.D (2017) Occu pat ion : Clinical Assistant Professor-Dept. of Health Policy & Behavioral Sciences, Georgia State University A Clinical Assistant Professor at Georgia State University's School of Public Health, Dr. Cormier is teaching four classes, one of which he created this fall based on his experiences with 21st Century Leaders, titled Leadership & Cultural Competencies in Public Health. Dr. Cormier said 21CL was the first organization to introduce him to transformational leadership and the concept of Social & Emotional Intelligence. In fact, Dr. Cormier completed his doctoral dissertation on 21st Century Leaders and Transformational Leadership. He also directs a study abroad program at Georgia State. He has served as 21st Century Leaders' Summer Staff for 12 (consecutive) years, leading as one of the summer institute directors for the past two years. Since that time, he has impacted and served over 3,000 youth during that time through 21st Century Leaders. He is consistently volunteering with other youth organizations and educational institutes, and currently serves on Georgia State's Undergraduate Research Conference Faculty Advisory Board, the inaugural 21CL Junior Board of Directors and the newly established 21CL Healthcare Steering Committee to help the organization launch new programming focused on Healthcare and IT. Jacque-Corey wants to also credit his family, especially his wife and mom, for their support. In spir at ion al Qu ot e: ?There is no better task to do with one?s time than to serve others.?

Sar a Dada 21CL Year s: 2010-2013 Hom et ow n : Marietta

Cu r r en t Locat ion : London, UK

Edu cat ion : Wheeler HS (2013); Georgia Institute of Technology (2017); Royal Veterinary College and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (2019) Occu pat ion : Global Health Researcher at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine After completing her postgraduate study as the first Fulbright Scholar at the Royal Veterinary College in London, Sara has been pursuing a career in global health as a blogger, researcher, and conference speaker. In fact, Sara was identified and recruited by two Principal Investigators at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to take the lead on two separate projects. First, she led a public engagement project to create a comic book about antimicrobial resistance for students in India and Kenya and secondly, she became the communications lead for the Vaccine Confidence Project developing a new communications strategy and website. Her goal is to become a leader in this field, guiding policy and strategy at an international level to improve healthcare access and equality. Sara says participating in 21CL programs was her first experience with young leaders and change-makers and being a part of that network greatly inspired her and gave her the confidence and skills to take on leadership roles immediately when she went to college. In 2016, Sara was named Ms. Georgia Tech in recognition of her outstanding academic achievement, involvement and service to the Georgia Tech community. She continues to contribute to communities. She currently serves as a mentor for "the Kids Network" in London and volunteers with Refugee Community Kitchen. Sara believes that the true way to have a positive impact on the world around you is not through formal titles or positions, but through unconditional love and service. In spir at ion al Qu ot e: ?Meaning derives from finding ways to love and contribute to worldly enterprise.?

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Clayt on Daw k in s 21CL Year s: 2007-2010 Hom et ow n :Powder Springs

Cu r r en t Locat ion : Kennesaw, GA

Edu cat ion : McEachern HS (2010); Tuskegee University (2014) Occu pat ion : Supervisor, Systems Engineer at City Of Cartersville Clayton is an electrical engineer who graduated from Tuskegee University with honors. He's currently the supervisor systems engineer for the City of Cartersville Electric Department in Cartersville, Georgia. Clayton became only the 2nd African American supervisor and engineer for his department at the City of Cartersville since the city's founding in 1850 - that's over 160 years! In his role, he supervises 23 linesmen and foremen with jobs and maintenance orders created by Clayton to sustain their electric system and provide power to industrial and residential customers. Outside of his engineering career, Clayton is also a manager in training at a Jos A Banks store, as a way to build up his side business to invest in real estate property. His long-term goal is to one day establish a utility company and provide efficient utilities to rural areas at low costs. Outside of work, Clayton volunteers on numerous community efforts with his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, and serves as Tuskegee Atlanta Alumni Club's Young Alumni Chair. Clayton says 21st Century Leaders came into his life when he needed it most. He says at 14 years old, he lost his best friend just a month before he attended his first 21CL summer leadership institute. He credits 21st Century Leaders to have impacted him at a young age and opened his eyes to diversity and to lifelong friends who helped him grow in ways he didn't know were possible. He said 21CL gave him leadership and networking skills that helped him to be successful in his career. In spir at ion al Qu ot e: ?Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor.?

Lau r en Flan igan 21CL Year s: 2009-2011 Hom et ow n : Stonecrest

Cu r r en t Locat ion : East Hanover, NJ/New York City, NY

Edu cat ion : Miller Grove HS (2011); University of Pennsylvania?s Wharton School of Business (2015) Occu pat ion : Brand Manager at Mondelez International Lauren is the Brand Manager of Trident Gum at Mondelez International, where she has made significant business impact, including more than doubling the size of their seasonal confections business, leading top marketing initiatives for the gum business and influencing cultural change through her leadership of the African Ancestry Council, for which she has received multiple promotions in her 4 years at the company Most recently she graduated from The Mondelez International Leadership Essentials Program (an invitation-only, nomination-based program for rising leaders in the organization). In addition, she was elected by Mondelez to participate in the 2019 Google Insider Program, an invitation-only program designed to educate and inspire rising stars in the industry. Lauren also serves as the President of the African-American Council at Mondelez and previously served on the board of the Mondelez Millennial Alliance where she launched a formal apprenticeship program enabling junior employees to be paired with more senior employees. Lauren participated in the 21st Century Leaders summer leadership institute (Leadership Unplugged sponsored by Turner), in 2009 as a rising junior in high school. Through the program, she honed her public speaking and networking skills, gained confidence and independence, and was first exposed to the world of media, which ultimately sparked her interest in her current career. Propelled by her passion for service and mentorship, Lauren?s lifelong intention is to serve as a mentor for underrepresented individuals to continually improve career opportunity for all. She serves as a mentor for America Needs You and through her church in Harlem, NY. In spir at ion al Qu ot e: ?You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements.? ? Norman Douglas


Br en t Gills 21CL Year s: 2007-2009 Hom et ow n : Decatur

Cu r r en t Locat ion : Austin, TX

Edu cat ion : Southwest DeKalb HS (2009); Hampton University (2013); Florida A&M University (2016); Wake Forest University School of Business (2019) Occu pat ion : Founder/Principal, Deep Sea Investment Group Brent is the Founder and Chief Investment Strategist of Deep Sea Investment Group, LLC (DSIG), which teaches individuals how to invest in different financial markets, and provides financial literacy courses for eager students across the country. DSIG was founded after Gills noticed that a plethora of his colleagues had never learned about how to handle their money after they got into their careers. Prior to that, Brent went to Hampton University to study physics and astronomy. He worked in a solid-state physics lab in undergrad, where he did materials research for the Department of Defense. Gills joined the Coast Guard in 2011, and proudly served as he learned new leadership skills that he would bring back to his University while serving as their student body president. After leaving the Coast Guard, he obtained his Master of Science degree in Physics at Florida A&M University then his Master of Science in Management from the Wake Forest University School of Business, where he served as a University Ambassador and the VP for the Business Students of Color. In 2007, he went to his first 21st Century Leaders program, where his perspective on leadership was changed tremendously. Things like diversity, acceptance, and mentorship were stressed, and he became a better leader in his community because of that. He also says 21CL fostered his love for STEM and helped him gained his first internship with Georgia Power. Before starting DSIG, he served as a Strategist at Gerson Lehrman Group, where he worked with Investment Banks, Private Equity firms, and Hedge Funds on various projects. In spir at ion al Qu ot e: "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Br an di Har r ison 21CL Year s: 1995-1997 Hom et ow n : Savannah

Cu r r en t Locat ion : Atlanta, GA

Edu cat ion : H. V. Jenkins HS (1997); Brenau University (2001) Occu pat ion : Director of Production, Turner Studios Brandi has almost 20 years of production experience and is currently the Director of Production of Turner Studios where she oversees the scheduling of 6 studios, 11 control rooms, and over 150 staff and freelance crew. Brandi worked previously as the Senior Production Manager in the CNN Documentary Unit, a role she was promoted to within 2 years of joining CNN. Prior to that, she was the Lead Writer and Producer at WSB-TV in Atlanta. Brandi took on the inaugural role as Chair for 21st Century Leaders' Junior Board of Directors in January 2019. Her leadership has propelled the group to establish a monthly giving program, host alumni social and give-back events, and increase alumni giving and engagement within 21st Century Leaders. Additionally, Brandi?s other volunteer work focuses on exposing college and high school students to the wide variety of creative and business roles within the production industry. Brandi says 21st Century Leaders had an immediate impact on her. She began to understand business and possible careers more clearly than any of her classmates. She became more confident in choosing a major for college and with interviewing for internships. Even now, 20 years into her career, she says she still feels the effects. She says 21CL even gave her a better understanding of how corporations can work together and impact their community. In spir at ion al Qu ot e: ?Fear of change is the absence of imagination." - Unknown

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Vict or ia Lam ar 21CL Year s: 2017-2018 Hom et ow n : Atlanta

Cu r r en t Locat ion : San Francisco, CA

Edu cat ion : Westlake HS ( 2018); University of San Francisco (present) Occu pat ion : CEO, Securing Degrees Debt Free, LLC. Victoria started her own business, Securing Degrees Debt Free, LLC, right after graduating high school in 2018. Securing Degrees Debt Free helps students and parents secure scholarship funds for higher education. The idea came to her after she received $3 million in scholarship offers. Since 2018, Victoria's business has serviced over 900 students and parents and her past attendees have accumulated well over $11 Million in scholarship funds. Currently, Victoria is a sophomore studying International Business at the University of San Francisco. There, she is working on her company by partnering with the San Francisco Unified School District, where she helps students with disabilities navigate the scholarship application process. She's also currently volunteering with Black Infant Health of San Francisco. Victoria participated at the 21CLub at Westlake High School and attended 21CL's winter leadership summit, Goizueta Youth Leadership Summit. She attributes her passion to give back, leadership and entrepreneurship skills to the training from 21st Century Leaders. In fact, she says the 21CL program was where she initially discovered her interest in business. In spir at ion al Qu ot e: ?Rejection is just Redirection.?

M ach m u d M ak h m u dov 21CL Year s: 2011-2012 Hom et ow n : Lilburn

Cu r r en t Locat ion : Philadelphia, PA

Edu cat ion : Parkview HS (2012); Oberlin College (2016); University of Oxford (2018) Occu pat ion : Member, Policy Team Biden for President As a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, Machmud is currently serving as a Policy Analyst for Joe Biden for President and is responsible for the development of Vice President Biden's daily local policy briefing material. Machmud is a dedicated servant leader with experience working and interning for Senators and Congressmen, including the Office of US Congressman John Lewis. Previous to his current role he was a Speechwriting Consultant for the West Wing Writers. He also had an Op-Ed piece published in The New York Times titled "We Need the Diversity Visa Lottery" in 2017. Machmud received his masters in Political Theory at the University of Oxford in the UK and previously served as the President of the Student Senate at Oberlin College where he received his Bachelors in Politics and received the Truman Scholarship which led him to interning at the White House during the Obama Administration. He also interned at the AmeriCorps during college, where he created a database to track and rate 1000+ affiliated non-profit organizations?adherence to AmeriCorps VISTA branding standards! Machmud attributes his participation in the 21st Century Leaders program to having fundamentally changed the trajectory of his professional and personal development. Both of his parents had spent most of their adult lives working for the federal government after they immigrated to the United States, so getting to learn from executives at CNN, Emory?s Goizueta Business School, Turner, and Cartoon Network gave him new insight into what organizational leadership looks like in the private sector. The 21st Century Leaders Turner Voices internship program allowed him to work alongside MBA and college students right after graduating from high school, something that gave him a step up when he got to college. Machmud also says throughout his undergraduate years, he remained friends with his cohort of 21st Century Leaders; they motivated each other to work hard and excel in their academics. He says working in his dream job, he's advancing his career in politics and making impact through inclusive leadership - the 21st Century Leaders way. In spir at ion al Qu ot e: ?Whether you think you can or you think you can?t, you?re right.?


Qu en t in M ar lin 21CL Year s: 1998-2000 Hom et ow n : Savannah

Cu r r en t Locat ion : Savannah, GA

Edu cat ion : H.V. Jenkins HS ( 2000); Armstrong Atlantic State University (2004); Mercer University (2007) Occu pat ion : Partner at Ellis, Painter, Ratterree & Adams, LLP Quentin has demonstrated leadership throughout his post high school life. Beginning with his service as a sergeant in the Georgia Air National Guard, through his time as a member of student government in law school and now as a partner at his law firm, Quentin has applied leadership skills. Since returning to Savannah following law school at Mercer University, Quentin is committed to giving back. He currently serves on numerous boards and executive committees of professional organizations, including the State of Georgia?s Judicial Nominating Commission, chairs the Chatham County Zoning Board, the board of the Savannah Economic Development Authority and other local non-profit boards in Savannah. Quentin says he's passionate about promoting the development and growth of students and young professionals coming behind him. Quentin Marlin attributes his participation in 21st Century Leaders in 1998 and 1999 for his invaluable leadership skills of problem solving, team building, consensus building and the ability to bring teams towards achieving shared goals. In spir at ion al Qu ot e: ?The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.?? William Arthur Ward

Jam es Nixon 21CL Year s: 1998-2000 Hom et ow n : Tifton

Cu r r en t Locat ion : Vidalia, GA

Edu cat ion : Tift County HS (2000); Mercer University (2005); University of Alabama at Birmingham (2008) Occu pat ion : Chief Operating Officer, Meadows Regional Medical Center James is an innovative executive with a vast and demonstrable background in hospital and system level operations, growth, strategy and entrepreneurship. He is currently the COO for Meadows Regional Medical Center in Vidalia, Georgia. Meadows Regional Medical Center is the only nationally accredited hospital in Montgomery, Toombs, Treutlen and Tattnall counties where James oversees 500 employees. His first year as COO, James led the financial turnaround that returned the organization to a positive Operating Margin. Prior to that he was working in his home town at Tift Regional Health System as the VP of Administrative & Clinical Services. James has received numerous accolades for his work including becoming a graduate of Leadership Georgia, where he recently served on the board, and was recognized as Georgia Trend Magazine's 40 under 40. He is active in a host of local, state and national professional, civic and volunteer organizations. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for United Way ? Toombs, Montgomery and Wheeler Counties, on Boys and Girls Clubs of Toombs County, and on 21st Century Leaders' Healthcare Steering Committee to help launch a healthcare-focused program. James credits 21st Century Leaders for having served as a catalyst for his very first internship and his first "in the city" summer job as an intern and assistant summer camp director for 21CL. He says 21CL is an unquantifiable part of his foundation in the professional world! He says 21CL was his first exposure to presenting to corporate executives, working in a not-for-profit and doing fund development. He says, "21CL?s commitment to developing youth across the ?four corners of the State?is unparalleled, I have lifelong friends as a result of my participation in 21CL.? In spir at ion al Qu ot e: "I do not intend to tiptoe through life to arrive safely at death." --M.M. Gavillet

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Ch ar les Or gbon 21CL Year s: 2011-2013 Hom et ow n : Hoschton, GA

Cu r r en t Locat ion : New York City, NY

Edu cat ion : Mill Creek High School (2013); University of Georgia (2017) Occu pat ion : Lead, Sustainability Business Resource Group, Deloitte & Touche LLP Charles is the founder of Greening Forward, a youth-driven, youth-imagined environmental organization that helps young people champion environmental issues in their communities. At age 21, Charles graduated from University of Georgia and ?retired? from Greening Forward after passing on the baton to a new generation of student leadership - 18-year-old CEO Ananya Singh who now leads the organization. But before Charles??retirement,? his non-profit work was recognized by over 31 local, national, and international awards, five book mentions, and over 100 speaking engagements. Charles, now 24 years old, continues his service to building a more sustainable, equitable future by serving on the boards for Greening Forward and the Captain Planet Foundation. In his current full-time role at Deloitte, Charles helps the Fortune 500 and public sector clients improve their environmental responsibility, and, internally to Deloitte, Charles also helps the firm ?walk the talk? by advising on local and national sustainability strategy. His most recent entrepreneurial endeavor includes writing a young adult memoir, MY NAME ISN'T CHARLIE, about his intersectional identity as a queer, Black man. While in high school, Charles was awarded 21st Century Leaders' Georgia Youth Leadership Award in 2013 for his initial work for Greening Forward. During his time with 21CL, Charles helped train other young leaders within the program to also create and develop their own community campaigns through 21CL?s EarthCare and informally through 1:1 peer mentorship. In spir at ion al Qu ot e: ?Don?t be perfect. Be brave.?

Ch r ist ian a Osh ot se 21CL Year s: 2014-2015 Hom et ow n : Atlanta

Cu r r en t Locat ion : Atlanta, GA

Edu cat ion : Westlake High School (2015); Duke University (2019) Occu pat ion : Researcher, Journal for Young Investigators Double promoted in her earlier years, Christiana started at Duke when she was 16 years old, and she graduated with a degree in Public Policy Studies and Chemistry earlier this year. She is a passionate researcher and has published over 10 peer-reviewed research articles at the intersection of policy, population health, and global health. Christiana is currently focusing on understanding the impact of small-scale businesses on the lives of women in low-middle income countries through developing a research study that explores the impacts of access to microfinance on the economic capabilities of women in villages in rural Edo State, Nigeria. For the past three years, she served in multiple leadership roles at the Community Empowerment Fund (CEF), a non-profit that partners members in Durham, NC who have experienced homelessness, unemployment, and rough financial downturns with advocates trained to provide financial coaching necessary to assist members. She served as an Advocate, Team Leader, and as a Healthcare Resource Specialist Fellow. Next year, she's applying to MD-PhD programs to train as a physician and understand how to use health policy to form equitable and efficient healthcare systems. Christiana says through 21CL?s leadership development resources, she developed her skills as an effective communicator. Participating in the 21CLub and attending 21CL's Goizueta Youth Leadership Summit the last two years of high school allowed her to meet like-minded peers who have inspired her with their passion and drive to leave a lasting impact on the world. Christiana is thankful for the 21CL network that inspired her to continue leading beyond high school. In spir at ion al qu ot e: ?When you start to feel like things should have been better this year, remember the mountains and valleys that got you here. They are not accidents, and those moments weren't in vain. You are not the same. You have grown and you are growing. You are breathing, you are living, you are wrapped in endless, boundless grace. And things will get better. There is more to you than yesterday.? ? Morgan Harper Nichols


Tim ot h y Par h am 21CL Year s: 2003-2004 Hom et ow n : Carollton

Cu r r en t Locat ion : Atlanta, GA

Edu cat ion : Central High School (2004); Reinhardt University (2010) Occu pat ion : Founder, The MAP Foundation Tim is a committed servant leader with over 10 years of experience in youth program development. He most recently launched his own non-profit, The MAP Foundation, focused on empowering middle school students, as well as other side initiatives including serving the homeless. Over the last decade, Tim has impacted thousands of middle and high school students through his work as a Program Manager for Marietta YELLS, a non-profit based in Marietta, Georgia and with 21st Century Leaders. For 14 consecutive summers, Tim has served as 21st Century Leaders' Summer Staff and as institute director for the last two of those years. His commitment has impacted and mentored over 3,500 high school youth during those summers. Beyond his work in non-profits, Tim is also a classically trained Opera singer. He toured the world after college for four years with the Atlanta Opera. He continues to perform in local theatrical productions throughout Atlanta. Tim attributes his servant leadership capabilities to watching his parents impact many of the youth in their community. He says it's hard not to stay engaged with 21st Century Leaders and give back to the organization and to its students. He credits 21st Century Leaders' program for facilitating him to grow his own leadership skills at a young age and learn to establish a good reputation and network. In spir at ion al Qu ot e: ?Live life, love life, and always find a way to give back.?

Nat h an Pu ck et t 21CL Year s: 2011-2012 Hom et ow n : Milledgeville

Cu r r en t Locat ion : San Francisco, CA

Edu cat ion : Baldwin High School (2012); University of Georgia (2016) Occu pat ion : Engineering Recruiter, Tesla At 24-years-old, Nathan is an Engineer Recruiter for Tesla, a promotion he received just after a year of being hired on as a Recruiting Coordinator. Nathan is working with clients to bring top engineering talent to Tesla and was most recently given a new challenge of recruiting for the Autopilot organization, working as a lead recruiter in their quest to be the first company to build the first full self-driving vehicle. Outside of work Nathan volunteers with the San Francisco SPCA chapter, and Friends of the Urban Forest, which works to keep San Francisco green. Nathan credits 21st Century Leaders to pushing him out of his comfort zone into learning new things and taking on new challenges. He says he also learned how best to lead through actions, as well as how to communicate effectively within a team setting. Nathan says the 21CL program was his first exposure to careers focused on sustainability, engineering, and to the company Tesla. Nathan attended 21st Century Leaders' summer leadership institute EarthCare, supported by Georgia Power, and it was the Tesla roadster that Georgia Power employees brought to the 21CL program to discuss renewable energy and electric cars, that introduced him to the company that he now works for. In spir at ion al Qu ot e: ?There?s no shortcut to a dream; it?s all blood and sweat, and life is what we manage in between.?- James Mercer

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Ar ju n Sah gal 21CL Year s: 2011-2012 Hom et ow n : Marietta

Cu r r en t Locat ion : New York City, NY

Edu cat ion : George Walton Comprehensive High School (2012); Colby College (2016) Occu pat ion : Co-founder & Chief Operating Officer, Eazel Arjun is the Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Eazel Inc, a startup with a mission to connect and inspire artists, collectors, patrons, venues, and art lovers from around the world by utilizing its proprietary technology to offer the most immersive and engaging online viewing experience for the art available. Currently, Eazel is in 6 countries with over 250 current art venue partners. Eazel has more than 500 exhibitions and over 40,000 people visiting the online platform every month. He first started his company in college where he was serving in other leadership roles. At Colby College he served as Dorm President for the Student Government Organization and then the head of the Student Judicial Committee. Arjun's other passion is to help other entrepreneurs. He volunteers with Synergies Works in New York, which works with artists/entrepreneurs who have a disability to help them set up a viable business. Arjun says 21st Century Leaders has been critical in helping him throughout his professional career. He said it was 21st Century Leaders where he learned the value of teamwork and how to communicate effectively. In spir at ion al Qu ot e: ?Success doesn?t measure a human being, effort does." - Adam Grant

Dr . Jyot i Sh ar m a 21CL Year s: 1997-1998 Hom et ow n : Chamblee

Cu r r en t Locat ion : Atlanta, GA

Edu cat ion : Chamblee Charter High School (1998); Emory University (2002); Emory School of Medicine (2007) Occu pat ion : Cardiologist at Piedmont Hospital Dr. Sharma is a Cardiologist for Piedmont Heart Institute where she also serves as Medical Director for Advanced Practice Providers and the Women's Heart Program. She was the leader behind the start of the Women's Heart Support Network, which in partnership with Piedmont Healthcare Foundation has raised nearly $1 million to support patients. Cardiology has the lowest percentage of female physicians of any medical specialty, only 10-13%, yet heart disease is the number one killer of women in the U.S. and women have worse outcomes compared to men with similar disease states. This disparity between female representation in cardiology and poor cardiovascular outcomes for women is why Dr. Sharma says she hopes that by being an advocate and serving as the driving force for Piedmont?s Women?s Heart Program, she can increase the spotlight on heart disease in women, focus research specifically on women, and change care patterns and outcomes for patients. Dr. Sharma has received a national award for excellence from the American Heart Association's clinical council on Women in Cardiology, was a 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle 40 under 40 Honoree and the 2018 Women in Technology Women of the Year Honoree. She volunteers regularly for the Women's Heart Program, the American Heart Association, and a basketball tournament at her high school alma mater for a classmate who died of sudden cardiac arrest from an undiagnosed heart condition. As a first-generation American, Dr. Sharma is committed to providing opportunities for students, especially young women, and is now serving on 21st Century Leaders' inaugural Healthcare Steering committee to help launch a new summer institute program focused on leadership in the healthcare and the IT industry. In spir at ion al Qu ot e: ?Nevertheless she persisted!?


Ter yn Sh ipm an 21CL Year s: 2013-2015 Hom et ow n : Atlanta

Cu r r en t Locat ion : Atlanta, GA

Edu cat ion : Henry W. Grady High School (2015); University of Alabama (2019) Occu pat ion : Independent Contractor At 15 years old, following Trayvon Martin?s murder, Teryn says she accepted the call to become an advocate for others and to always fight for justice. Using the skills she gained in high school, Teryn advocated for equal opportunity, treatment, and representation of minority and marginalized groups at the University of Alabama, which she attended. As the Coordinating Student Assistant, her and her team established an Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, established the role of Chief Diversity Officer, created an Intercultural Diversity Center, and had a historical marker erected after the University?s first Black student. Through partnerships with campus and community partners, she fundraised over $18,000 to bring a Black Lives Matter co-founder to the University of Alabama. She's a committed volunteer to voter education, specifically for the underrepresented and for political and social change with organizations like Woke Vote, Color of Change, and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Currently Teryn is a community organizer and a blogger of ?For Black Girls Who Have a Lot to Say.? Teryn says her involvement with 21st Century Leaders instilled in her the passion that she has towards serving in her community. Through many networking events and training, including the 21CLub at Grady HS, serving as a Youth Ambassador and numerous summer and school-year events, 21CL has equipped her with the skills that she needed to be a confident and successful servant leader. She says whether she had to speak to a large crowd, organize voter registration efforts for over 1,000 people, or serve in communities abroad, she's always felt prepared and humbled to be a representative in spaces where she otherwise might not. In spir at ion al Qu ot e: ?Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.?- Shirley Chisolm

M oyo Jen n if er Son ola 21CL Year s: 2009-2011 Hom et ow n : Marietta

Cu r r en t Locat ion : Nashville, TN

Edu cat ion : Campbell High School (2011); Xavier University of New Orleans (2015); Florida Institute of Technology (2017) Occu pat ion : Operations Consultant Jennifer is a foreign-born American raised by a single mother who entered Corporate America in the Oil and Gas Sector at the age of 18. She's now an operations & strategy professional currently working as the Agile Project Manager for a consulting firm. In her previous role at Asurion, Jennifer managed the Global Acquisition and Distribution of Inventory worth $70M and prior to that was the Global Procurement Manager at It Works. Outside of her day job, Jennifer also founded her own company, Moyovelli Inc. where she leverages her operations and supply chain skills & network to assist others and herself in sourcing, acquiring, and distributing apparel items for their business' products. She also founded the RB4RB (Read Books for Red Bottoms) Foundation in May 2019, which is a scholarship to encourage young girls to strive for higher knowledge in the form of a bachelor ?s degree or higher. She is an active volunteer with Junior Achievement in Nashville and also serves on the Board of Directors for Rising Leadership Foundation, a nonprofit organization in Dallas, TX that seeks to transfer STEM knowledge, good governance, and leadership in the inner cities of Texas and among African Immigrant communities. Jennifer credits 21st Century Leaders for shaping her into the leader she is today. During her 21CL years, she says being introduced to a collaborative group of young leaders who drove for optimal results enhanced her leadership capabilities in her current professional environment. In spir at ion al Qu ot e: ?Be the leader you wish you had in your life." ? M. Jennifer Sonola

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Ran dell Tr am m ell, EdD 21CL Year s: 1999-2000 Hom et ow n : Dalton

Cu r r en t Locat ion : Cartersville, GA

Edu cat ion: Southeast Whitfield High School (1999); Reinhardt University (2003; 2009 (MBA)); Northeastern University -EdD (2014 ) Occu pat ion: President and Executive Director, State YMCA of Georgia; Founder and CEO of the Georgia Center for Civic Engagement When selected as CEO for the State YMCA of Georgia in 2009, Dr. Trammell was the youngest YMCA CEO in the nation at the time, and he has been able to lead the organization to sustainability and unprecedented growth. In fact, he inherited financial issues and was ordered to either fix it or close it when he was hired. Now, ten years later, the State YMCA of Georgia remains one of the leaders in youth development. But it was during those years that Randell noticed a lack of civic-literacy knowledge and resources for youth. In 2014, he founded the Georgia Center for Civic Engagement and has served more than 75,000 students through the reach of this program. He has served on a number of educational committees, including President of the Alumni Board of Governors for Reinhardt University. Randell says 21st Century Leaders helped him build and add to an already existing statewide network of friends and acquaintances and gave him the opportunity to explore the business world through its immersion experiences in business and entrepreneurial work. He says prior to 21CL, he had been given little exposure to such principles. Dr. Trammell aspires to one day run for public office. In spir at ion al Qu ot e: ?Don't worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.?-Abraham Lincoln

Nat alie Walk er 21CL Year s: 2010-2012 Hom et ow n: Marietta

Cu r r en t Locat ion : Atlanta, GA

Edu cat ion : Marietta High School (2012); Auburn University (2016); Georgia Institute of Technology -Certificate in Supply Chain (2017) Occu pat ion : Strategic Sourcing Partner at Cox Enterprises, Atlanta Natalie is a Strategic Sourcing Analyst at Cox Enterprises where she's exceeded annual goals and KPI targets within her first years. Natalie was selected for Cox's collegiate internship program which led to being offered a full-time position following her graduation at Auburn University in 2016 with a Supply Chain Management degree. Natalie is a committed servant leader within Cox and outside, volunteering for numerous events and organizations. She's been selected to speak on the Cox internship panel for the summer interns over the last two years and she's involved with the Cox Conserves Group which focuses on reducing carbon emission and waste within the business and the local community. Natalie is passionate about supporting programs in the areas of personal health & wellness, leadership development and supporting minorities in technology & sciences. In her passion to serve others, she has committed hundreds of volunteer hours with 21st Century Leaders, Girl Scouts of Atlanta, Junior Achievement and Women in Technology - where she's also the WIT Leadership Team Relationship manager for the Cobb area schools. Natalie joined 21st Century Leaders through its 21CLub at Marietta High School (before it became Marietta YELLS), and participated in numerous programs during summer and throughout the year. Natalie says it was the summer leadership institute EarthCare, supported by Georgia Power, that helped her to realize her passion for engineering & technology. She says 21CL also taught her invaluable skills such as work-life balance, the elevator pitch and most essentially, networking. In spir at ion al Qu ot e: "Try to be a rainbow in someone else's cloud."--Maya Angelou


Jew el Wick er 21CL Year s: 2008-2010 Hom et ow n : Atlanta

Cu r r en t Locat ion : Atlanta, GA

Edu cat ion : Westlake High School (2010); Georgia State University (2014) Occu pat ion : Freelance Journalist Jewel is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a staff writer for The Patriot News in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Since going freelance in 2017, she's written for Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Wall Street Journal, Atlanta Magazine, Teen Vogue, Pitchfork and other publications. Jewel is currently the youngest board member at the Atlanta Press Club where she also serves as the Program Committee Co-Chair. Jewel says her goal as a board member and journalist is to change the landscape of journalists to a more diverse and inclusive community. In fact, she is advocating and pushing the rest of the board to interview and hire more interns from local colleges and more minority students. She's also a member of the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists and regularly volunteers for speaking engagements at local HBCU's and with 21st Century Leaders. Jewel participated in several summer and school-year programs and it was 21st Century Leaders who gave her a chance to be on a college campus for the first time and get a glimpse into what was to come after she graduated from high school. She said beyond making life-long friends at 21st Century Leaders, 21CL really instilled her passion to give back and be service oriented. She says the adults who worked with her and her peers during the summer were selfless and eager to teach, and that's exactly the spirit she says she tries to embody now when working with high school and college students today. In spir at ion al Qu ot e: ?The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them." - Ida B. Wells

Br an don William s 21CL Year s: 1999-2000 Hom et ow n : Columbus

Cu r r en t Locat ion : Glendale, CA

Edu cat ion : Kendrick High School (2001); Morehouse (2005); University of Redlands - MBA (2012) Occu pat ion : Vice President, Human Resources, NBCUniversal Brandon has been at NBCUniversal since 2017 and currently serves as Vice President, Human Resources for Universal Pictures. He is the lead HR Business Partner supporting the finance, strategy and business operations of the film division, as well as lead of the Studio?s talent management strategy. With oversight of talent management for the Film division, he is responsible for developing and executing talent strategies needed to achieve business priorities, while also providing opportunities for talent to grow and succeed within the organization. Prior to joining NBCUniversal, Williams held strategic HR positions with varying businesses at Sony Pictures Entertainment. He created programs that cultivated a culture of engagement and growth mindset which aligned to the mission, values and priorities of the business. Williams also spent two years residing in London and was responsible for leading Sony?s Talent Strategy and Diversity and Inclusion for the EMEA region, while also serving in an HR Business Partner capacity for the UK and Ireland office locations. Prior to Sony, he spent seven years at Turner providing HR and Talent Acquisition support for different lines of businesses in Atlanta, Georgia and Burbank, California. Brandon says 21st Century Leaders provided an opportunity for him to actively hone both leadership and teamwork skills in a safe learning environment. He said the exposure to business executives, various careers and networking opportunities while in high school was very beneficial in navigating college and his career. In fact, he says, "Still to this day I acknowledge 21CL as the foundation of developing my business etiquette skills." In spir at ion al Qu ot e: ?We will be more successful in all our endeavors if we can let go of the habit of running all the time and take little pauses to relax and re-center ourselves. And we'll also have a lot more joy in living.?Thich Nhat Hanh

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