Poise and power.
We often say young people are our future, I actually believe they are our present and our future, especially in 2020. As adults, we can become jaded and judgmental – far from what our inspired and forward thinking young selves would have placed us. I have always strived to remember what I felt like as a young leader – taking time to give them the microphone, listen, and learn from them. We often think life experience is a more valued character than optimism. I argue that optimism and humanity are our only ways out of the pandemics we are currently living through. My guest today Jael Kerandi, provides these two qualities among so many others.
As you listen to today’s episode, whether you are in your youth, channeling the inner fountain of youth, or a bit jagged and jaded — open your heart and mind to hear one of our youth leaders utilizing her voice to make this world a better place. After all, isn’t this what we want, don’t we all just want to be seen and our voices to be heard? Why not start now with today’s episode.
Jael Kerandi is a senior at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus just ten short minutes from my house. In traditional life, we would have easily been able to record this episode in person, instead just like Jael’s classes we signed into Zoom to record. As a Finance major with the well known Carlson School of Management, Jael and I discuss comprehensive wealth and how her parents instilled in her not just financial wealth but also in health and giving back to a community – what is your character. Her father always gave her the advice “a good name is better than great riches” – that her reputation will always be how people see you. Your reputation not defined by the title you carry rather than how you treat people, how you great people when you walk in a room, and how you are as a person. Raised by her Kenyan parents, her family channels much of the heritage of taking care of your village — remember the saying it takes a village, Jael quite literally lives this to her core.
When I first encountered Jael, it was actually her on my TV screen. I remember thinking to myself, she is poised, passionate, and powerful in her words. She commanded the screen with a direct demand on the university after the murder of George Floyd – to end their partnership with the Minneapolis Police Department. The topic of police brutality has been ongoing but definitely come to the forefront in 2020. When I heard the words of her request leave her lips it was filled with leadership and also grace and compassion – not polarizing, a plea to action. We discuss how we all can take action through seeing the humanity rather than thinking of it as this vs. that. I challenge you if this topic makes you uncomfortable to think about — take a deep breath, press play, and listen to the grace filled leadership that Jael provides us as an aspiring 20 year old. Listen to the heart that she leads with. This is NOT about this or that rather she leaves us at the end of the episode of reminding us of the core of any of this hard hitting topics — humanity.
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