June 12, 2024
Read time : 7 min

Over 100 leaders, including students from 92 universities and colleges as well as other participants, attended this year’s Up to Us Leadership Bootcamp. In this blog, we bring you the must-read highlights. Read on to find out more!

The highly anticipated second annual Up to Us Leadership Bootcamp took place this past February in Washington, D.C. The 3-day, weekend-long bootcamp gathered the best and most promising fiscal thinkers and change makers under one common goal: shaping our nation’s future. Participants from all over the country had the astounding opportunity to network with like-minded peers and colleagues, build their leadership skills, and engage at the forefront of community matters, sparking discussions and setting the stage to take action on community issues back at their respective campuses, including government-related initiatives to social and environmental policy changes. 

The outcome? Students left the bootcamp equipped with the knowledge, tools, resources, and even funding to return to campus and launch their community engagement events during the Spring semester. While the bootcamp is now finished, prizes didn’t stop there—students who organize excellent community activities were paired with a mentor through the Clinton Global Initiative University and get access to exclusive and promising CGI U regional events. Additionally, bootcamp participants can apply for a full tuition scholarship to take a course at the Harvard Business School Online and/or the $5,000 Up to Us Civic Engagement Scholarship.

The Leadership Bootcamp offered an avenue for student leaders to forge valuable connections among participants, alumni, and industry professionals. Sekou Biddle, one of the program’s keynote speakers, and the Vice President of Advocacy and Student Professional Development Programs at the United Negro College Fund kickstarted the program with an insightful talk wherein he underscored the pressing need for inclusive leadership and empowered attendees to set sustainable change in motion within their respective fields of influence in their communities. Certainly, his speech set the tone for the bootcamp and inspired participants to truly and confidently use their skills and networks to pave the way for great societal transformation. 

Speakers from the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Commitee for a Responsible Federal Budget, and NEST4US, including its founder Shreyaa Venkat, were also among other speakers who engaged in talks and discussions. We'd like to highlight that Shreyaa Venkat leverages its organization, NEST4US, as a philanthropic platform promoting kindness, generosity, and social good. In particular, NEST4US has made a significant impact nationwide, with over 7,000 volunteers who have gathered millions of dollars worth of volunteer hours, positively driving change for tens of thousands of lives across the globe, which made networking with NEST4US a great opportunity for the attendees!

Net Impact Chapter Member & President, Nevadit Chaudhary, also made an appearance during the weekend-long program, alongside Up to Us alumni Déja A. Daniel, Nayancie Matthews, Emma Phillips, and Morgan Williamson. 

Besides inspiring speeches, altogether, the bootcamp gave participants an invaluable vehicle to create enduring connections and establish themselves as future leaders for change. Our network at Up to Us ensures attendees remain connected and inspired, supporting each other as they navigate their way toward becoming the change-makers of tomorrow. But don’t take our word for it, hear it from them.

“The Up to Us Bootcamp was a transformative experience for me. I gained a deeper understanding of fiscal responsibility and advocacy through insightful sessions and collaborative activities. The supportive environment and encouragement from fellow participants and mentors made the learning process enjoyable and empowering. I'm grateful for the opportunity to be part of such an inspiring community dedicated to driving positive change.”

“Leaving the program, I'm equipped with knowledge, inspiration, and a renewed sense of purpose, better empowered to make a meaningful impact and change the world for the better.”

“I arrived in the Nation's capital to attend the program with limited knowledge of fiscal policy. I left Washington, D.C. with a broad-based knowledge of fiscal policy and a sense of purpose on how to meet the challenges confronting the United States in the realm of fiscal policy.”

“Participating in the leadership bootcamp was a transformative experience. The immersive learning environment, insightful speakers, and hands-on activities provided a holistic approach to leadership development. This program equipped me with practical skills and fostered a strong sense of teamwork and personal growth. I emerged more confident, inspired, and ready to lead with purpose. I highly recommend this bootcamp to anyone seeking to elevate their leadership capabilities and make a lasting impact.”

The program concluded with 3 winning teams, who were awarded and rewarded for their exceptional contributions.

If you missed this year’s bootcamp, worry not! At Up to Us, we are committed to supporting and empowering student leaders to drive positive change, and always have something coming up for future leaders like you. Without the participants' engagement, the Leadership Bootcamp wouldn't be the success that it is, which highlights the importance of investing in leadership development amongst the new generation of leaders.

Stay tuned for updates on future events and initiatives, and get ready to become part of the next generation of worldwide change-makers with us at Up to Us!