Inspired by the public service of President Bill Clinton and his call for young people to step forward to meet the challenges of today, last summer Orangeburg native and Georgetown University senior Mark Svensson teamed up with ten student leaders from across the United States to co-found an initiative they call “ReEnvision Your Future.” Their goal: to create positive change in communities throughout the world while inspiring other young people to do the same.
Meeting one another at President Clinton’s 2011 Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU) meeting in San Diego, CA, Svensson says, “We were drawn together by our common desire to want to help create a better world for all, while inspiring others to do the same.”
Their actions have been nothing short of inspirational.
In their first year, Svensson and the ReEnvision team have demonstrated a profound commitment to serving others: Founding 18 initiatives across five continents, while logging more than 1,000 hours of volunteer service, and making significant impacts worldwide in the areas of education, economic opportunity, global health and nutrition, and peace and human rights.
Just a few of their accomplishments from their first year include: Providing clean water to more than 100 families in Haiti; mentoring to 150 high school girls in Kenya; teaching english to more than 300 children in China; training 175 foster families in California on the dangers of sex trafficking and more.
Svensson states, “It is truly amazing how much we can accomplish when we work together with others. I feel blessed to be able to collaborate with such an amazing, diverse group of individuals.”
For some, Svensson’s leadership in the ReEnvision team comes as no surprise.
Phineas Lunger, a Rockland native and student at Columbia University states, “I have known Mark for several years dating back to our time at Rockland Community College (RCC) and he has always been one to take initiative. Seeing the work he has and continues to do inspires me to want to do more and do better in my community and campus.”
For their initiative, Svensson and his colleagues recently traveled to Washington, D.C. where they met and spoke with officials, including Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga), about their efforts. In addition, the ReEnvision team was recently invited to United Nations where they attended several briefings and meetings.
Svensson states, “The growth and development of this initiative over the past year has been incredible, and I am so excited to continue to work with these amazing individuals to help produce positive change in our communities and throughout the world.”
Looking ahead to the summer, Svensson says the Re-Envision team have a number of events scheduled, including a Youth Empowerment Summit in New York City and several health and fitness events relating to the White House’s Let’ Move Initiative.