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GPYouth USA Featured Leader: Teresa Wang

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Teresa Wang and IYLA delegates at United Nations

"The truth of the matter is that underneath all of the different lifestyles and identities, we are all human. A responsible leader will choose to maintain a society... through moral and innovative goals." -Teresa Wang

Every month, Global Peace Youth features outstanding young leaders across the United States. This October, GPY-USA introduces Global Ambassador Teresa Wang, a graduate of the latest International Young Leaders Assembly held in New York, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. Teresa is a student at New York University majoring in East Asian Studies and Social and Cultural Analysis.

Teresa is an active member of several groups, including an international co-ed community service fraternity dedicated to developing leadership. She explained how her life changed after attending the IYLA saying, “I realized that there is an urgency for more moral and accountable leaders all over the world. I decided to focus on helping communities that I am already directly a part of.” Soon after returning to school, Teresa took up leadership positions in her organizations. She became the Social Media Manager for Freedoms 4 North Korea, the Secretary of Coffee Club, and the Upperclassman Representative for Asian American Women’s Alliance. “I decided to push out of my comfort zone and take on there leadership positions knowing that I would have to put in a lot of time and effort to attract attention in the Asian-American community,” said Teresa. As a member of the Serendipity Dance Troupe, she also hopes to empower Asian Americans and women through her passion for the art of movement.

Teresa Wang outside the United Nations during IYLA 2016
Teresa Wang outside the United Nations during IYLA 2016

When asked why moral and innovative leadership is so important to her, Teresa responded, “With all that’s happening in the world today, it’s very easy for influential leaders to disregard morals and empower a certain group of people by putting down other groups. Often times, it’s very satisfying to be standing on top of that spectrum and reaping the benefits of being the majority, but the truth of the matter is that underneath all of the different lifestyles and identities, we are all human. A responsible leader will choose to maintain a society without war. However, this achievement can only be accomplished through moral and innovative goals to keep peace between different groups. Without moral and innovative role models, our world would be led by corruption and tyrants who rule for their own self-interest. It’s very important for a leader to understand how to unite people despite the many differences that push them apart.”

"Be open-minded, patient, and empathetic. People too often block out things they don’t want to hear or opinions that they don’t agree with, but it is in listening intently to different perspectives that an effective leader is born."

Teresa left us with her advice to other young leaders saying, “Be open-minded, patient, and empathetic. People too often block out things they don’t want to hear or opinions that they don’t agree with, but it is in listening intently to different perspectives that an effective leader is born. Listening can come a long way. Actively listening to one person will allow them to feel understood, which may prevent violent tendencies from occurring. To lead a group of people does not mean every person in the group will agree with one another, nor does it mean that the leader will fully understand the struggles of each individual in the group, but it’s important that every struggle is heard and every person has an equal voice.”

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