2014 Leadership Summit Recap

What a great morning. Kicked off by an inspiring keynote address by Joe Grimm, who really set the stage for the event and the theme – Be a Leader in Your Community.

We heard Bing Goei talk to us about immigration. I don’t know about you but I was a bit alarmed to hear that Michigan’s population is declining at a pace more rapid than the rest of the country. A declining population contributes, not in small part, to economic decline as well. Governor Snyder’s commitment to value every individual for who they are, not what we want them to be is a bold and admirable one. But he needs us, as members of the community, to step up and help make a difference. We cannot stand in the background. We need to understand the needs of our communities and think about what we can do and more importantly, do it! Together, we were challenged to help create a welcoming culture in Michigan.

Next, we heard from the self-acclaimed horse and buggy duo Ann Tai and Tad Hubahib about the importance of financial literacy. What does it mean to be financially literate? Today, we learnt that it means having the ability to understand how money works – how to manage our income, how to earn it, how to invest it wisely so that it can help us as we move into retirement and how to become self sufficient enough to be able to donate of our time and money to others. We brainstormed amongst ourselves how we can live the American dream now and through our lives and what we can do to help educate our community.

Your ideas of having us do our own taxes, even if only once, encouraging financial independence and educating our younger generation at an early age, finding a good financial mentor, voting so that we have a voice and can enlist government support in providing free financial literacy programs and encouraging colleges to provide financial awareness programs have been invaluable to the discussion today.

Van Nguyen led us through a dynamic session on the business of social networking and why it is important to have a social media presence. This topic generated a lot of questions that led to cool tips on how to create and manage our social media presence.

Theresa Tran and James Wilson, our very own CAPA board members opened our eyes to why youth matters and why we should be conscious of both our treatment of this group and also an awareness and a responsibility to positively affect treatment to ourselves. They walked us through a youth model and the various modes of control, both equitable and non-equitable, challenging but thankfully, not shaming us into re-examining how we treat and allow ourselves us to be treated.

The table discussions highlighted what we had on our minds – some of the nuggets I heard were youth should understand both respect and control and how they go hand in hand and are not concepts that go against each other. Mentors seemed to be of value with an emphasis on listening from both sides. We want to help foster an environment of cultural understanding, not just cultural tolerance.

I’ll end with four takeaways from today:

You matter. Make yourself count. Get involved. Contribute to the growth of our community and through our community, create a welcoming environment and bring growth and prosperity to our state – the proud state of Michigan.

Take the time to educate yourself and others about financial responsibility.

Get social. Get on social media, that is. Do make sure you have a social presence. But also make sure you are aware of and actively manage your social presence.

And lastly, recognize that the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow. Help them be their best selves.

Pina Chhaya
CAPA Executive Director