This profile was published as part of #GivingTuesday's #WomenWhoGive series, which celebrates women who give back in their communities.
Cynthia English is the CEO and Founder of Global Scribes: Youth Uniting Nations®. According to Raya Maraqa, one of the youth in GS YUN, "Cynthia has been working so hard to make Global Scribes: Youth Uniting Nations® the peaceful environment for us, she has been giving her money, time, basically her whole life for us to achieve stuff and be happy. For me, she gave me the confidence to engage and meet important people, through her idea I have had the chance to meet people from all around the world and from countries I never thought I would ever know someone from there. Cynthia and our global Scribers made me feel that everyone in this world and I are the same."
Read the full interview below to learn about what inspires Cynthia to give.
Q1: What inspired you to start Global Scribes: Youth Uniting Nations® as your #giving project?
Fortunate to have lived, worked and traveled around the world since I was 9 years old, mostly without fear, when I was given the opportunity to give my time and money to giving back, my first thought was how I might help turn the tide of our current world trajectory for our global youth. Today, we all seem to live in a quagmire of chaos. After some time pondering the ‘how?’, my answer was that they are better equipped to fix the world then I, as an older adult, and seemingly our global politicians – they just needed the virtual platform to bring them together. A platform with a foundation of no politics, no religion and no socio-demographic segregation where they could feel safe and free to have fun and put their heads together for global and individual good. To build global friendships, cultural understanding, to champion criticism, stay unique and keep striving to be the best they can be. That inspired me to jump in.
Q2: What does giving mean to you? Why do you continue to give your time, talents, money, or more to your community?
Giving to me means reaching into my personal passions and perhaps, talents, to help empower our global youth to create a safer world through a Create. Connect. Collaborate. project of communication and sharing. Why do I continue to give all I have? Well, one reason is to heed the impassioned plea of a young woman named Honig, whom I met on a train between Budapest and Bucharest. She said, ”please, never stop delivering world adventure to those unable to make the journeys themselves.” Her message resonated with me. And two, I embarked on a path in the tech world to bring the power and beauty of human dynamics and cultural riches to our global youth. By slowly creating a ‘For Youth, By Youth’ global platform, powerful messages of love, acceptance of different and distinct lives are breaking the fear of different and they are discovering their similarities, while empowering each of their spirits, regardless of origin and culture, through the current evolution of GS YUN which they themselves are creating. I am merely holding the umbrella. There are so many benefits, for instance, my heart fills with joy as I watch diverse youth jump in with new ideas to move GS YUN forward, or they come together to diffuse a situation. The rewards are endless.
Q3: What would you tell others who are looking to start giving back? Share a piece of advice will help them get started.
Answering the question, ‘What is my passion?’, then, pairing that answer with your desire to give back will help anyone find the perfect fit on how and with what kind of organization you wish to donate your time &/or money. Giving back, in my opinion, is the perfect way to springboard into a happier life and new adventures. It isn’t always easy to step outside our safety zone, but it sure is rewarding once you make the leap. That said, hang on because you may be in for an unbelievable journey you could never have imagined! And, secondly, we can use all the help we can get…if what we are doing appeals to you, please, get in touch! firstname.lastname@example.org
Q4: Please share a favorite moment or story from when you volunteered or donated to an organization.
Sometimes we are lucky that our Scribers meet one another ‘in the flesh’, while traveling, attending a conference or at a Country Happiness MeetUp, but really we are a Tech company and everyone interacts and meets virtually across numerous media. To note, among my favorite moments have been when our global youth have come together virtually to produce a film. One, titled MIGRATE, was scripted, shot, produced, and coordinated by Scribers in the UK, Jordan, Turkey, Germany and the USA. Another, titled Blue Ocean, was comprised of clips from Scribers in the Philippines, South Africa, Australia, Turkey, the USA and India. The later won an Honorable Mention at the Blue Ocean Film Festival! To see their faces and feel their excitement, when they realized they were winners, having never met one another– crossing oceans, spheres of demographics and invisible borders through cyberspace, they were a team and #bettertogether. That has been one of my favorite moments. Create. Connect. Collaborate.