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Alex: What was your experience graduating from Clark University in Worcester?

Elikem: Worcester was cold! I’m from the tropics, so anywhere cold is just hard for me to love deeply. However, I loved my experience at Clark. The International Development and Social Change program was a small and highly diverse pgm. About 50% of my class were from the US and the other 50% were not. It was such a rich experience learning and discussing complex issues like war and peace, environmental justice, global health etc with people whose lived experiences were vastly different. The program was really designed to give you practical skills in addition to the theoretical framework of global development. After coming from the University of Chicago (which I also loved for different reasons) I was looking for a program that could ground the theory in practice for me. On a personal level, I met my husband at Clark - so good things definitely came out of my time in Worcester!

Alex: What are you proud of your team for?

Elikem: The kick@$$ work they have done this past year, Alex. I’ve worked over the last few years at Global Citizen Year to build a high-performing team, with all of us having a clear vision of where we’re going and committed to getting there together. But I think you don’t really know if that’s true completely until a crisis hits - and a global pandemic is definitely a crisis of epic proportion. I’m very proud of how the team worked across five countries: India, Brazil, Senegal, Ecuador and the US to evacuate our Fellows last March when we have to suddenly end the program and get everyone home. We were getting about 130 Fellows, to over 30 countries and 20 states over the course of a long weekend- as countries closed borders around us and airlines cancelled flights. It was a coordinated effort - and every member of the team stepped up and we did it - with efficiency, generosity and keeping our Fellows and their families at the center of all key decisions. Then we quickly had to pivot to redesign a new program and build what we now have in the Global Citizen Year Academy. For this second semester of the Academy that we just wrapped up, we enrolled over 250 students from 80 countries and 26 states! This program was not a thing last at this time. When you lead a team that pulls off a feat like this - you can’t help but feel super proud of them.

“…dream a little before you think.”

Alex: What is your favorite mantra or quote?

Elikem: I love quotes as you know, Alex. One that feels true to me right now and which I often reflect on these days is from Toni Morrison: “As you enter positions of trust and power, dream a little before you think”. I often find myself coming to this these days - especially as my role often has to balance innovation, aspiration and practical operational realities. I challenge myself not to limit what’s possible because I’m failing to dream a little. ∎ Learn more about Elikem Archer by connecting on LinkedIn:

www.linkedin.com/in/elikemtometyarcher ALEXANDER TAYLOR

Founder & President of Artem NexGen
 www.awarenessties.us/alexander-taylor Alexander Taylor is a public speaker and youth ambassador that empowers young social entrepreneurs to address societal, community, and environmental issues. He is the Founder & President of Artem NexGen and Youth Ambassador to The Global Challenges Forum in Geneva, Switzerland, representing the 1M2030 Initiative in partnership with the United Nations Institute of Training and Research, as well as an honors student at Morehouse College. He developed Artem NexGen and scaled 1M2030, as international youth leadership organizations, to provide access to professional opportunities for youth leaders of the rising generation and to raise 1 million youth leaders towards UN sustainable development goals beyond 2030 respectively.

126 AWARENOW / THE MAYDAY EDITION

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In this issue, we present stories that speak to the needed conversation of awareness to action. For the causes we support that tie us all to...

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