EO Global Citizen Award Winner Focuses on Education
Every year, EO honors one member whose selfless work changes lives, transcends borders and sets an example for us all through the Global Citizen of the Year Award. Previous winners have built schools for the underprivileged, cleared tons of plastic from the Pacific and revolutionized healthcare in Africa. In this interview, Manny Padda, an EO Vancouver member and the 2016 Global Citizen of the Year, talks about the impact of the award and his global education goals.
What was it like winning this prestegious EO award?
MP/ “It was a deeply humbling experience to receive such an award from our organization, which encompasses so many successful individuals whom I admire. I’m very grateful to EO. Since I joined this global community, I have gained invaluable knowledge and insight from peer-to-peer sharing with accomplished individuals around the world, which has served as a catalyst for my own work. For the organization to recognize me among my peers is a wonderful honor.”
What inspires you to make a mark in EO and beyond?
MP/ “It’s awe-inspiring to hear the amazing and diverse stories from EOers who have built incredible businesses from nothing. The ability to develop a thriving enterprise from the ground up is what intrigues me the most. I learn from these individuals and try to surround myself, both personally and professionally, with people who challenge and motivate me to greater heights, so I can continue on my path of leadership.”
What near-term goals are you hoping to achieve with EO's help?
MP/ “My passion is geared toward children and education. I have set a goal of helping to educate one million children globally through social-impact ventures and traditional donations by age 40. Winning this award has enabled me to reach out to other chapters and EOers to speed up my trajectory in achieving this important goal.”
What's one of the biggest lessons you've learned to date?
MP/ “My Kairos moment—the instant I realized my circumstances were creating a path to opportunity—came when I realized I could be successful and do good at the same time. The two are not mutually exclusive, and in fact, they dovetail nicely. Focusing on success opens the door to leading a life of significance. Making a conscious decision to impact the lives of others around the globe is more fulfilling than any other achievement imaginable. And EO makes it happen: When you reach out to EOers in your chapter or across the ocean, they respond by openly sharing great ideas, experiences and resources. In this sense, EO becomes the ultimate catalyst for multiplying the good we can do in the world.”
What advice would you give other who are looking to make their mark?
MP/ “Start young. Weave your passion—whether it’s the environment, education or poverty—into your business model. If you start on this track early and persevere with dedication, it will always be a part of your business. The two become intertwined, and then you’re working not just for yourself, but for others. I have learned that giving is truly better than receiving, and I strongly encourage my fellow EOers to explore what gifts they might offer our society.”
Manny Padda (pictured) is an EO Vancouver member, the founder of New Avenue Capital and the co-founder of GradusOne, an organization that empowers high school and university students to discover options, realize opportunities, and focus on their career and future success. Contact Manny at email@example.com.