If you are at the height of your corporate career, meaning earning millions and billions of dollar per year, would you walk away from your job to dedicate your life to a social cause?
Didn't think so right?. But, that is exactly what I did (casual)
At the age of 35, I quit my position as Microsoft's Director of Business Development for the Greater China Region in order to found Room to Read.
So let me tell you my story.
How many of you have trekked in the Himalayas?
A decent number of you I’m guessing, ok.
Even if you haven’t I can tell you that the mountains created a beautiful vistas, but also created a lot of hardships. When you can’t trade with you neighbors, When you have too high of an altitude to grow crops, there’s no roads, life is tough;
In 1998, when I made my first trip to Nepal, I was fortunate, I met a headmaster Pasupathi, who invited me to visit his school. And After hiking up miles,I was amazed and pretty shocked that kids can be asked to learn in these conditions (pictures). Because there was barely enough room in the front of the classroom for the teacher to stand.
Then the headmaster asked Come ad see our library. And I got excited.
How many of you are library nerds as kids? I was a library nerd as a kid. So naturally I thought a library would look like this (picture). A room full with books and kids smiles on their faces. However, the library was just a library in the name only. The library was just an empty space; an empty vacuum that could be filled but unfortunately they didn’t have any books.
I can still remember there were only 20 books available for more than 450 students.
That hit me hard....
... middle of paper ...
...in a group that is very very rare. In the United States, we have a rating agency called Charity Navigator, which look over the financials every year. And only 6 percent of charities based on America. I mean 6% have ever been given four consecutive years of four star rating the highest rating one can ever get. And I am proud to say that we are one of those group. One of the lucky 6%s. Another way that we have made the money go further is with volunteers. We have 52 chapterswiht 7000 around the globe to help us PR, and raise awareness in the local . From Boston to Austin. From Dubai to Seoul. From hongkong to Sydney. We basically have people fundraising and helping us to achieve our goal. SO much of what we do are volunteer driven. And I tell them no pressure. You don’t need to ask them for money. I will (pictures). And this model has worked really really well.
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