Barbara Pierce Bush stopped by Parish Episcopal School on April 4 to talk about what it means and what it takes to become a global leader.
"The core value that I live by is love," said Ms. Bush in response to a student-question about values.
Dave Monaco, Allen Meyer Family Head of School, moderated the discussion on "Cultivating Global Young Leaders," in front of Parish students and 100 Junior World Affairs Council (WAC) students representing 11 North Texas high schools. The event was part of the WAC's Global Young Leaders program, in partnership with Austin College and Parish. Ms. Bush also met and answered questions from Parish students involved in the Academy of Global Studies and shared the story of her personal journey to becoming CEO and Co-founder of Global Health Corps. Through Global Health Corps, Ms. Bush has been able to help people in a number of countries including Uganda, Malawi, Rwanda and Zambia. The organization strives to develop a network of young leaders who share the common belief: "Health is a human right." Ms. Bush assured students that they don't have to hold a "big title" to help others.
"Humility is such an important part of leadership," added Bush.
As a young global activist and author, Bush is renowned for her organization's efforts to build a movement for health equity. She graduated from Yale in 2004 with a degree in Humanities and has demonstrated profound servant leadership by encouraging and developing a new generation of leaders in the health sector. Her journey to help others was sparked at age 21 during a life-changing trip to Africa with her Parents, Laura Bush and President George W. Bush. During the humanitarian visit, to launch an HIV Drug program, she discovered the inequality of access to life saving drugs and good health care. The experience had a profound effect on her and she went back to Yale and immediately changed her major.
"Exposure helped me figure out how and where I wanted to be in the world," she noted.
Ms. Bush believes that young leaders play an active role in advancing social justice, and through her organization she's been able to help vulnerable communities get the quality health care they deserve. Leaders in Global Health Corp. are not required to have experience in the medical field; instead, they bring their knowledge and skills in other areas such as engineering, business and academics.
While in Dallas, Ms. Bush joked that she had been staying at her parents' house and getting her fill of her favorite Tex-Mex food. She also stopped by the Perot Museum where she received the 2018 Posey Leadership Award from Austin College. The award honors an outstanding individual who has demonstrated the principles of servant leadership.
The World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of learners, leaders and thinkers. The Council's mission is to promote international awareness, understanding and connections to enhance the region's global stature and to prepare North Texans to thrive in our complex world.
Global Young Leaders (GYL) is an education program of WAC that creates an intelligent pathway for North Texas high school students to achieve ambitions in international careers. The GYL program is facilitated through clubs on high school campuses called Junior World Affairs Councils, which are available to public, private, charter, and home school students.