March 14, 2019
Read time : 4 min

On March 1st and 2nd, we hosted the Up to Us training for the spring cohort in Oakland!  Over 50 student leaders from across the nation (some who had never been on a plane before) traveled to California for a weekend of inspiration and impact.

Student leaders participating in the pitch off.
© Bailey Greene Photography

The goal of the training, as a part of the Up to Us Competition, was to give students a deep dive into campaign management, leadership development training, and the issue at hand: our country’s long term economic outlook. Team leaders spent the weekend gaining valuable skills and experiences that they will carry with them throughout the competition and their post-college careers.

To get to know each other, students hosted a pitch off to start the training. Students were given random objects and they worked together to “pitch” the item for a new purpose. By meeting and interacting with their inspiring peers, our students gained valuable connections with fellow emerging leaders. 

Jeff Holland from the Peter G Peterson Foundation giving a speech on the national debt.
© Bailey Greene Photography

One of the great perks of joining Up to Us is the unparalleled access to thought-leaders. Our student leaders experienced this during the training, when they had the opportunity to meet and hear a speech on the national debt from Jeff Holland from the Peter G Peterson Foundation. Jeff is the Vice President of Research for the Peter G Peterson Foundation and has extensive knowledge in fiscal and economic policy, budget process, and data analysis.

We also heard from past Up to Us Alumni who shared where they are now and how participating in Up to Us helped set them on their career paths. Up to Us Alumni Hafez Karimi spoke about his journey from working with the local Fullerton homeless shelter to attending a California State University Fullerton graduate program on a full ride scholarship. Hafez is originally from Iran before coming to the US to follow his dreams. He discussed how participating in Up to Us can be a catalyst for finding meaningful opportunities both in and after college.

Up to Us student leaders at the training for the spring cohort.
© Bailey Greene Photography

Up to Us participants from different political and socio-economic backgrounds were represented and brought their own unique perspectives to the training. However they did all have one common goal: to initiate meaningful discussions on how we can ensure a better fiscal future for us all. This is what Up to Us is all about and we are so proud of the strides these student leaders are making collectively, and in their own communities. 

Are you experiencing FOMO after hearing about the amazing weekend these Up to Us student leaders had? You can get involved by hosting an Up to Us event