The 35U began with a vision to inspire the leaders of tomorrow by telling them about the leaders of today. With millions of people involved in government, education, business and community service across the country, it sometimes may be hard for the 35U to connect to leaders individually simply due to an age barrier. The 35U to us is any young adult from the ages of 18-35 in this country. These individuals have a voice – they can vote, serve, and most importantly, they can make a difference for future generations.

Today’s Q&A feature is Andrew Lippi, a Key West, Florida native and Vice President of Watson University. Lippi is a rising star in education. We caught up with him to discuss what it means to be a leader and what advice he would give to future leaders.

Why did you choose this career path?

I have been fascinated by a personalized educational experience from a young age. I attended Stanstead College in Quebec, Canada, where I was provided the tools to engage in experiential learning, critical thinking, problem solving and teamwork. If it wasn’t sold on this career at Stanstead, the rest of my passion was constructed at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida.

Who inspired you to get involved?

At Stanstead college, I found mentorship through Headmaster Mike Wolfe who opened my eyes to the beauty of education. Mike has played an essential role in the foundation of my passion for education. Shortly after, I found a home at Lynn University and was able to receive the support that enabled me to reach my full potential for a future in higher education. In addition, I received the greatest support and guidance provided by President Dr. Kevin Ross. In my opinion, Kevin is the greatest college/university President in the United States.

How do you define a leader?

I define a leader through characteristics such as empathy, resilience, confidence, and wisdom.

What projects are you currently involved with in the community that engages the next generation of leaders?

As Vice President of Watson University, I am able to recruit and guide some of the most promising members of the next generation to solve the toughest social, economic, environmental challenges of our time. Recently, I’ve been serving on the board of //Movement. //Movement is world’s only Socially Conscious Fitness Studio, where I am able to create and support local philanthropic projects as well as launch socially conscious projects all over the world.

What advice would you give to the next generation of leaders who want to get involved?

Never become discouraged. I was in the Headmaster office of my boarding school every other day for years. That’s all I am going to say. Anything is possible!