Leaders Under 30
Being an intern at washingtonpost.com, where I often help out with the On Leadership site, means that leadership is all I get to think about some days. And as a 22-year-old college student, what naturally interests me most are young leaders -- talented individuals of my generation who are already showing qualities of a great leader.
Here are some interesting links about five people who have caught my attention and whose stories I find inspirational:
1. Mark Zuckerberg (23), CEO of Facebook
In 2004, Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook from his dorm room at Harvard University. What began as a campus networking website is now one of the most popular networking tools on the Internet. He may be a multi-millionaire CEO of a major company, but when Leslie Stahl asked him last year on 60 Minutes: "Have you changed your lifestyle?" Zuckerberg laughed and answered, "No, I'm not buying really expensive clothes. I have a little, like one bedroom apartment with a mattress on the floor."
2. Spc. Monica Lin Brown (20), Second woman to receive valor award since WWII
On March 21, 2008, Monica Lin Brown became the second female soldier since World War II to receive the Silver Star (presented to her by former-Vice President Dick Cheney), the nation's third-highest medal for valor. In April 2007, Specialist Brown saved the lives of fellow soldiers by running through insurgent gunfire and using her body to shield wounded comrades. In a recent interview with Katie Couric, Brown discussed the difficulties of fighting on the battlefield in Afghanistan.
3. Jon Favreau (27), Barack Obama's Speechwriter
The man behind Barack Obama's eloquent, powerful words is Jon Favreau. After graduating as valedictorian from College of the Holy Cross, Favreau worked for John Kerry's presidential campaign in 2004, during which he first met Barack Obama. Today, he is the Director of Speechwriting at the White House, making him the second youngest person ever to hold that position. His most recent assignment was of course, President Obama's inaugural speech, which he drafted at a Starbucks in Washington, DC. Esquire magazine recently voted Favreau one of the "Best and Brightest of 2008."
4. Kaylee Marie Radzyminski (16), Founder of "Tunes 4 the Troops"
Kaylee Marie, a high school junior from Cleveland, Tennessee, started a CD and DVD collection campaign called "Tunes 4 the Troops" for U.S. soldiers stationed overseas. She was inspired by the military personnel she met at a U.S. Naval Sea Cadet camp when she was 14, who told her one of the things they missed most was entertainment. By 2008, her project shipped more than 200,000 CDs and DVDs to soldiers overseas. She was named one of America's top 10 youth volunteers in May 2008 at a ceremony at U.S. Chamber of Commerce, receiving a national Prudential Spirit of Community Award.
5. Luke Ravenstahl (29), Current Mayor of Pittsburgh
At age 26, Luke Ravenstahl became the youngest mayor in Pittsburgh's history, not to mention one of the youngest mayors of a major city in American history. After graduating from Washington and Jefferson College, Ravenstahl ran for a seat on the Pittsburgh City Council at the age of 23.
What young people inspire you? Let us know.
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