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Lizi, 17 – FUNDED

She may be only a high school junior from Fayetteville, Arkansas, but Lizi Xiong has her ambitions set on changing the world. She’s deeply interested in political activism and with her $200 grant from our Mentor Me Challenge, the 17-year-old plans on hosting a fundraiser to draw attention to the refugee crisis in Europe.

What is your professional dream?

I aspire to one day become the Secretary of State, a United Nations Ambassador, or to own a business.

Those are pretty big dreams! How will you use your 1,000 Dreams Fund grant?

I will use this grant to host a fundraiser to help draw attention to the refugee issue in Germany.

How is this helping you get closer to your dream?

My ultimate dream is to positively change as many lives as I can. Receiving this grant will help me strengthen the bonds of my community while breaking down cultural differences.

What advice do you have for other young women?

I would tell them to turn failures into lessons. True failure is not chasing after your dreams.

Any setbacks?

I noticed that rejections always come more readily than acceptances. However, with each setback, I learned a lesson that helped me to become successful in my next goal. I always remember this during difficult times. Also, I keep in touch with my mentors and support network to help me bounce back.

What’s next for you?

I’ll be attending Aktion Zukunft, a four-day seminar sponsored by a non-profit dedicated to connecting youth advocates and refugees at the end of November. At the seminar, I will gain the knowledge I need to help refugees in my own area. I have been seeking to intern or volunteer at a local non-profit to assist with refugee integration. I hope this experience will help my dream become a reality.