Chelsea Clinton Meets with Kiva U Students, Talks About Empowering Youth
Kiva U welcomed a very special guest to Kiva headquarters this week...author and activist Chelsea Clinton!
Chelsea met with students who are creating positive change through Kiva lending clubs and school projects and spoke about her passion for empowering youth. She was motivated to write her new book ‘It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going!’ to give young people concrete ways they can take action.
“I wrote my book because I kept meeting kids who were aware of problems in their community and around the world and want to do something about them,” Clinton said. “They are already engaged in thinking about and trying to make difference.”
Clinton highlighted Kiva U, Kiva’s educational program, in her book as a way young people can make a real difference in the world.
“I look to Kiva U as a mechanism by which young people can engage and make a positive difference,” she said. “I am so grateful Kiva allowed me to share the remarkable work they do everyday.”
While speaking directly to the students, Chelsea encouraged them to share their experiences of service with peers.
“It is so important that young people share their stories so that others can see themselves as you one day. I so fundamentally believe that with a little bit of information anyone can make a difference. You are never too young to start.”
Kiva U club members from two local schools, Town School and Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep, presented at the afternoon event about their experiences creating small businesses to fund loans on Kiva.org. Zack, a 12-year-old member of the Town School’s Kiva U lending club, nicknamed the ‘Bouncy Ballers,’ shared how helping others made him feel:
“It makes us feel good to give someone the opportunity to thrive. We used the profit we made from selling bouncy balls to lend to others. We are changing lives at zero cost, but with a lot of reward.”
Next, the Sacred Heart high school students shared stories about their recent service trip to Guatemala. They also described how their Kiva U chapter with over 30 members holds microfinance themed events on campus:
“In Guatemala we got to experience microfinance in action. We went to a lot of microfinance institutions that focused on fair trade, women’s empowerment and education,” Miranda, a Sacred Heart senior said. “On campus our club hosts speakers from Kiva and other businesses to share about microfinance and how it's working in the local community.”
Kiva President and Co-Founder Premal Shah and Chelsea both thanked the students for their work to improve lives around the globe. The students were a great representation of the energy Chelsea is excited to channel.
“It is important that students are treated as people who are empowered to make a difference and I want to give other people that chance,” she said.