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 Stephanie Pudish, President and Founder of Virus Cure Incorporated. Virus Cure’s mission is to provide healthcare relief and community aid to anyone affected by viruses. Stephanie is entirely committed to giving back to her community. With years of experience in business and the nonprofit sector, she has made it her life’s mission to serve others.
Stephanie is an inspiration to the youth that want to get involved in entrepreneurship and public service. We caught up with Stephanie to find out what leadership means to her and what advice she would give to the next generation of leaders.
Why did you choose this career path?
My love for volunteering started back in 2012 when I founded a Peer Tutoring Program that helped hundreds of high school students become better prepared for college. A few years later, I became the Director of Sponsorships for the Monaco Charity Association and helped provide funds for the opening of an orphanage in the Philippines. That led to me becoming the President and Founder of Virus Cure, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, DC. Our mission is to provide healthcare relief and community aid to those affected by viruses.
Who inspired you to get involved?
My grandfather has been one of the most influential people in my life. He built up some very successful businesses in Hong Kong, China and gave back to his community in a multitude of ways. From funding bridges in mainland China, to building roads and community centers, he is one of the most generous and selfless people I know.
How do you define a leader?
I believe that a leader is someone who puts the needs of others first. Someone who is kind, honest, and selfless. They are able to create change and inspire others while working towards a common goal. They stand firm in their beliefs and only build others up.
What projects are you currently involved with in the community that engages the next generation of leaders?
Virus Cure, the nonprofit that I run in DC, is currently involved in four different campaigns that give community aid and healthcare relief to those affected by COVID-19. We have so many amazing volunteers on our team and seeing how passionate they are to give back has been such an inspiration.
What advice would you give to the next generation of leaders who want to get involved?
Everyone has something to offer to their community. No matter what skills or experience you have, there is always a way to give back and make a difference. Be active in looking for opportunities to serve. If you are interested in joining the Virus Cure team, please visit our website at www.viruscure.org!