How will next-generation leaders define their roles as social change makers? “We’ve got to get young people saying, ‘I want to be accountable for making change,’” says host Billy Shore during this special episode of Add Passion and Stir made possible by generous support from the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation. His two young guests are already making impact in their communities. Twenty-three-year-old Luz Holmes works in the mayor’s office in Hartford, CT, and learned the importance of giving back at young age despite being food insecure. “[My mother] taught me that you give when you can give. Be accountable for other people… and to make the best out of life because someone else has it way worse than us,” she relates. She served as a Share Our Strength Youth Ambassador in college as a way to address hunger in her community. Alex McCoy is chef/owner of Lucky Buns in Washington DC at the age of 31. “We should always be questioning what the status quo is, what we’re doing, and if we’re doing it the right way,” he says of his leadership style. McCoy points to important factors that are creating generational differences and opportunities for new leaders. “Our generation has more information at its disposal than there ever has been. And the world is a much smaller place than it ever has been,” he believes. He notes that the recent student reaction to the Parkland, FL school shooting is a prime example. “Previously those kids wouldn’t have had a platform to change hearts and minds,” he says.
Though only at the beginning of her career, Holmes possesses an intentional and purpose-driven attitude toward life. She frequently asks herself, “How could I better my journey? What can I do to help this one person or what can I do to impact this one situation?” Her work for the city of Hartford includes food and nutrition outreach to underserved communities. Slated to return to school in the fall to earn her master’s degree, she sees herself moving up to the state or federal level in order to have greater impact. McCoy stays motivated by going on learning journeys around the world. He relates a story about his first bite of a favorite Thai dish on his first day in Thailand. “I realized everything I know about Thai green curry is wrong…the texture, the flavor…it was a dish I thought I knew,” he recalls. This revelation would have a profound effect on his approach to food as a chef and restaurant owner. “The cooking is cooking – that’s technical. The why is the everything – It’s the emotion, it’s the heart, the soul, it’s the tradition. You need to know that so that you can fully understand the flavors the right way,” he says
Share in this conversation and understand the motivations driving two aspiring young leaders who are becoming forceful advocates for change.