by Thomas E. Mitchell, Jr.
Can acting change the world, let alone hundreds of Chinese eighth graders?
Nineteen-year-old Angellic Ross of Milwaukee, student at Northwestern University majoring in acting, believes she made a positive impression on the youth during her recent trip to Shanghai and Hong Kong, China where she used her artistic skills to convey a message of empowerment and service.
Ross was one of five individuals privileged to spend 10 days in China as part of R&B Singer Usher Raymond’s non-profit New Look Foundation’s new initiative called the “Powered By Service” program, first unveiled at the 2009 Clinton Global Initiative, created by former President Bill Clinton.
A peer-to-peer leadership training program, Powered By Service supports youth around the world in creating positive change.
The program was designed to change the face of service by offering young people the opportunity to combine their personal passions in the arts with their desire to give back. The initiative’s mission is to send selected youth throughout the world to use their talents in dance, music, sports, business, science, environment and other areas to teach leadership and actions that build transferrable skills and competencies, as well as certify youth leaders.
The Rufus King High School graduate and Northwestern freshman helped train and certify more than 100 Chinese youth as leaders.
“The experience was very positive,” Ross said recalling her time in Hong Kong and Shanghai. “The kids we trained in China were from underprivileged backgrounds.
“We told them about the importance of education, of giving back to their communities. The experience also gave me the opportunity to experience and interact with a different culture.”
Ross wasn’t just teaching. She was learning too. She shadowed representatives of various companies doing business in China such as General Electric and Bloomberg Television.
The Rufus King High School grad said shadowing the various corporations showed her the importance of having a business plan and branding.
“Hope I can go on another overseas trip,” said Ross, who wants to start her own non-profit arts organization.
“I’d also like to go back to Hong Kong and Shanghai to develop partnerships with the country.”
New Look Foundation is an organization created by the popular R&B singer to empower and motivate youth to create change, while giving youth the tools and resources they need to succeed.