Millennial Leader to Watch: Andrew Bo Young, III
As far as Andrew "Bo" Young, III is concerned, “There are so many different ways to be a leader.” Young is the CEO of the social giving platform GiveLocally.net, and in a recent interview with PolicyMic, shared his insights on leadership, noting,“A big part of leadership is not being concerned with who gets the public recognition.”
For Young, those aren't just words, they're a way to live. The son of famed Civil Rights Movement activist Andrew Young, Jr., Young has come into his own as the head of GiveLocally.net. The site allows users to donate money to everyday people in need (recipients are pre-screened and post stories about they need money for), giving donors the chance to directly impact a person's life for by simply clicking a button.
“Our President [Barack Obama] is a great leader … but then you have people whose focus and interest are specifically in the black community,” Young asserted. By using his business background in running the nonprofit, Young is helping to fight poverty “using a start-up approach.” Both donors and recipients have been very receptive to the idea which is helping GiveLocally to grow.
“Many of the problems that are plaguing [the black] community … are also in the Latino community,” and other disenfranchised groups as well. Although there are problems that have historically been endemic to the black community –– high incarceration, poverty, poor public schooling –– they are now just a universal community problem. Young strongly believes that “the more we try to work to overcome our problems,” the more likely we are to find a solution to these social ills.
Young credits his father’s legacy as one of the many factors that has helped him to define leadership through the work that someone does, not the attention they receive for it. That is why Young has been so happy to see people use GiveLocally to support those struggling to live day to day because the donations come from everyday people who want to help others, proving that anyone can make a difference. Yet Young would like to see more people, especially African-Americans, use their wealth to help support each other.
“They think of Obama and Oprah as flukes, but Kobe and Lerbon as the norm,” Young said when explaining why he thinks there’s so much unused potential in the African-American community. “There’s a lot of intellectual capital and financial wealth in [the black] community, but I don’t think we do a good job at channeling that into one direction to help us advance.”
Young’s innovative ideas would not only improve the well-being of African-Americans, but all those who have potential reach another level of living. He encourages people to think big, but start small, and to encourage each other along the way.