New Look focuses on helping students excel in talent, education and career, but the thing that sets us apart from other afterschool programs is our service component called Powered by Service. Usher believes service is what makes a good leader great, so, students are taught to use their passion and potential to make a difference in the world– And they are! Many New Look youth have their own social good startups, campaigns, and organizations.
Take New Look Detroit sisters Elizabeth and Rebecca Williams, for example, who are members of New Look’s Moguls in Training Program and college students at Grand Valley State University. They were flown by New Look’s partner, Southwest Airlines, to New York and honored by Usher and Scholastic with 2,000 books for the nonprofit they just created called Books IV Bonding (a roman numeral in its name to honor their mentor Usher, or as they call him, Big Brother).
Watch this video to see the moment helped spark the launch of Books IV Bonding.
Their organization is providing schools in Kenya and Detroit with fiction and nonfiction books that will inspire young leaders to create positive change in their communities. Students in the two programs will collaborate by discussing the books over recorded Skype sessions and discussion boards. They hope discussing protagonists from stories, fact and fiction, will spark cross-cultural dialogue about real global issues between young people and foster unexpected friendships.
Rebecca and Elizabeth came up with the idea for Books IV Bonding after Rebecca traveled with New Look to Kenya in 2012 to conduct Powered by Service leadership training. At a school burnt badly by fire, she witnessed students with no books to learn from at all. When she found out this was not uncommon for the area, she knew she had to make a change.
“New Look shifted my paradigm on life when I went to Kenya. While in Africa, I experienced knowledge, talent, and friendship but most importantly, commonality. From this, I understood that you must be a conscious consumer and receiver of everything, never abandoning your power to analyze all the truths you are expected to believe. When you do this, you learn how you can connect with everyone, any place, anytime, and in any country. For it is through our similarities we as one race, human, can truly change the world as one. This experience changed how I see people and the world.” – Rebecca Williams
“Before New Look, I had much insecurity and doubt about what mark I wanted to make on the world. UNL has opened my eyes to real world problems and how to solve them with service.” -Elizabeth Williams
Usher’s New Look is developing the 10% of youth who will lead 90% of their generation. Spread the word and learn how you can help us create even more Powered by Service youth leaders through our new youth center initiative, the SPARK LAB, at www.UNLsparklab.org