About Jason Connell
Jason Connell’s journey to becoming of one of the world’s foremost authorities on visionary leadership for young adults hasn’t been, to say the least, a straightforward path. But then again, destiny has its own compass – and sense of occasion.
At the fresh young age of 19, Jason was a content, ambitious, and confident liberal arts student in sunny Florida. And like many other young people in similarly cozy situation, he thought his future would be relatively comfortable and straightforward: graduate from college, find a good job, and generally enjoy the rather hospitable hand that destiny had dealt him. That’s when he spent a semester abroad in China.
And everything changed.
Mesmerized at the core by a world “outside of America,” – a world that featured unbelievable cultural wealth, contrasted with stark economic poverty and impenetrable sociopolitical obstacles – Jason resolved to explore all he could until his dried-up savings forced him to stop.
And while dropping out of college was a necessary consequence of this “change in life plan,” any disappointment was far outweighed by the array of astonishing new experiences, and nourishing personal relationships, that he cultivated during this seminal time.
Now a bit older, much wiser and equipped with a Political Science degree, Jason has volunteered in some of the world’s poorest areas. He has seen, heard, felt, and experienced things so removed from his quaint college life, that it’s hard to believe that it was only a handful of years ago; it truly feels like a handful of lives ago.
Dedicated to applying what he has experienced to change the world, an abbreviated list of Jason’s volunteer efforts to-date include:
- creating and leading the extremely popular “Changing the World 101” program, which continues to provide thousands of young adults in the US and abroad with insights and strategies on civic engagement
- launching the “Escape the Matrix and Lead” program, which aims to help visionary young adults become the type of leaders that today’s local and global communities desperately need
- advising grassroots development organizations in the US and throughout the world, including sub-Saharan Africa
- consulting for 100+ higher education institutions across four different countries on how to increase student involvement in global civic engagement and modern leadership development
- developing micro lending and computer training programs in Northern Uganda
- conducting research on the effects of globalization in Thailand
- teaching HIV/AIDS prevention classes for high risk children in South Africa
- judging the William James Foundation’s social business competition
When not creating new programs for Ignited Leadership, volunteering locally and abroad, or inspiring others to do the same, Jason is an in-demand international speaker who lives in Washington, DC.