I found out about this guy named Shawn last week. You really need to know about this guy.
Shawn is a 27-year-old Canadian from Toronto who until recently was a full-time student at Notre Dame. But some months ago he met Dr. Jeffrey Sachs who was giving a talk at Notre Dame. Dr. Sachs has been twice named one of the "100 Most Influential Leaders in the World" by Time Magazine, and is the author of The End of Poverty. Shawn's encounter with Dr. Sachs inspired him to (now pay attention to this, peeps) withdraw from graduate school, liquidate his savings, and to begin a journey to "try to make the world a better place, one meaningful difference at a time" (his words).
He started this thing he calls the Uncultured Project. It's not a charity, a fundraiser, or an organization. It's just him, this one guy, Shawn, heading off to poverty-striken places like Bangladesh and chronicling his journey on the web via YouTube and his blog. Here's a sample of one of his YouTube videos:
Visit Shawn's YouTube Channel here. And his personal website here.
By leveraging the web in this way, he began to attract a large number of followers on YouTube, who were inspired to participate in his quest. So he has rallied his new YouTube community to partner with Save the Children, raising huge amounts of money to fight extreme poverty in Bangladesh.
One guy took a risk to make a difference, and it paid off in a big way. Shawn's story really inspired me this week. His courageous choice to step out of his comfort zone and use his life as an instrument of transformation in the world has challenged me afresh to not let myself live small, or believe that one person alone lacks the power to make a significant impact for good in the world.