To further promote the value of service, 2018 Global Citizen of the Year Breana Ross gave a TEDx talk at University of Miami on Wednesday, April 24th, titled “The Impact Money Can’t Buy”.
The overall theme of Breana’s talk was that making a difference isn’t so much about how much money one has, but how much passion. During her talk, Breana went into detail about how her idea of service evolved throughout her life and how she’s gotten to where she is today.
The two experiences Breana highlighted as most formative were her creation of and continued involvement in Written in My Soul—her service organization at University of Miami that teaches youth how to express themselves through poetry—and her Customized study abroad experience in Cape Town, where she spent a significant amount of time volunteering at SHAWCO Education.
One of her main takeaways from these experiences was that rather than being a one-way street, service is a mutual exchange in which both parties grow and learn from one another. “The more open I became to learning about their culture and language, the more open they came to learn about me, my culture, and where I came from,” Breana said.
Toward the end of her talk, Breana provided listeners with a “toolbox” for how to make a change right now. Her toolbox consists of three memorable steps:
- Moment: “You need a moment where you observe an issue that you are passionate about addressing.”
- Method: “The method is your how. How are you going to address that issue you observed?”
- Mindset: “You need a mindset of a true servant leader, not a savior complex. You are not better than anyone, and you are not solving all of anyone’s problems. You are using your own gifts and talents to do what you can to address a larger issue.”
Breana is currently finishing her final year at University of Miami, after which she plans to embark on a career in journalism to continue her pattern of contribution.
“You do not have to be the next millionaire or billionaire to make a difference," Breana said. "You can do it right now. In fact, you should do it right now because not enough people are doing what they can to make the world a better place.”
Learn more about our Global Citizens of the Year, or explore our programs using our Program Finder.