Friday
Nov 14
2014
November 14, 2014

Five Questions with Our Extra10 Winner

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This weekend the Clinton Foundation celebrates 10 years of the community-building work of the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock. In the belief that the individual can become an agent of change in his or her own community, we asked you to pledge 10 actions in the spirit of community transformation.
 
Gillian Slee made an Extra10 pledge, and was chosen in a random drawing to attend the 10 year celebration in Little Rock. We asked her a few questions about her pledge, what volunteerism means to her, and her inspirations. 
 
 
Q: Tell us about yourself! Where are you from? What are your hobbies?
 
A: I’m a junior at Harvard University, majoring in Social Studies, an interdisciplinary program in the social sciences, with a minor in Psychology.
 
I’m originally from Southern California. My mom is an elementary school teacher, and my dad is a biomedical engineer. I also have an older brother who studied film in college and is now working in Los Angeles. From a young age, my parents encouraged my brother and me to follow our passions. They also emphasized that we were important to our community and our nation, and that we had a civic responsibility and obligation to serve others and shape our world.
 
In my free time, I love drinking coffee, cooking new recipes, and traveling to new places. I’m a voracious reader, but I like variety—reading everything from John Steinbeck to J.K. Rowling, the New York Times to People Magazine, The Atlantic to The Onion.
 
Q: What was your Extra10 pledge? 
 
A: I pledged to write to 10 public servants and thank them for their service to our community and our nation. I selected  individuals who had made a difference in my life because of their work. I wrote handwritten thank you notes that spoke to the value I think their work holds in changing the world as well as the influence that they have had on my own personal, civic, and aspirational development. I think that those who actively serve others deserve a thank you.
 
Q: What do volunteerism and community mean to you?
 
A: I think volunteerism and community are intrinsically linked. A community begins when individuals interact and create something bigger than our individual selves. We invest in the future, and our investment is volunteerism. It’s a powerful vehicle through which we effect the change we want to see in the world.
 
Q: What inspires you?
 
A: I am most powerfully inspired by people who are so passionate that they not only desire to act but feel compelled to act. In her work as a teacher, my mom always tells her scholars: “Everyone has a special talent, and it’s my job to help you find it.” I am inspired when I see people not only pursuing their unique purpose and talent but also doing so by helping their community, nation, or world. I want to make my mark on the world and play my part in the promise of a better future.
 
Q: What events do you look forward to at the 10-year celebration in Little Rock?
 
A: I’m beyond excited to be attending the 10th Anniversary of the Clinton Presidential Center. I’m looking forward to attending the No Ceilings Conversation in particular. I am inspired and motivated by the work that has already been done to increase participation and equality for women and girls all over the world, and I want to hear about how this initiative thinks this work will progress in the future!
 
I am also thrilled to see the Clinton Presidential Library. As a 14-year-old deeply interested in politics, I attended the 2008 DNC in Denver, CO, where I heard Hillary Clinton speak. I remain a great admirer of President Clinton and Hillary Clinton.
 
In addition, I am very excited for the Day of Action on Sunday. In making my Extra10 pledge, I agreed to work to change the world. It delights me that, as I enjoy this 10-year celebration in Little Rock, I will also be able to help give back to others.
 
 
Thank you, Gillian, for your pledge – and to everyone who made a pledge to improve his or her community.
 

Unable to make it to Little Rock for the celebration? Tune in to the live webcast of the No Ceilings Conversation here at ClintonFoundation.org, follow us on Twitter and Facebook for real-time updates, or join in the conversation using #ClintonCenter10th.