A member of the Rio Rancho Public Schools Board of Education will receive counsel from business and political leaders in Connecticut next month.
Ryan Parra will be one of 54 participants in this summer’s Global Leadership Initiative. The six-day event in Norwalk is hosted in partnership with the United Nations and Rotary International, and teaches a chosen group of 19- to 29-year-olds leadership skills.
“They try to teach you the proper skills; they want to train the next generation of leaders to be more competitive, to have better leadership,” Parra said.
The GLI was formed in 2009 under a different name (Advanced Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) as an attempt by Rotary International to reach out to young leaders. Previous speakers include business leaders from Coca-Cola, IBM, the Women’s World Banking Organization, LinkedIn and TEDx.
In addition to six days of classes, GLI students will receive a tour of the United Nations complex.
“For me to be able to say at 26 that I went to the United Nations is a pretty cool thing,” he said.
The event’s focus on communicating with business leaders, Parra said, could help him in his collaborative efforts with NAIOP’s Rio Rancho Roundtable and the Sandoval Economic Alliance.
“You sit down with these executives and they say, ‘This is what we’re looking for, this is how we plan for the future,’ and they kind of teach you not their business model, but how they structure it, how they make their opinions,” he said. “For me to be able to say, ‘This CEO told me this, this is how they do things,’ might not seem like much, but there might be one little nugget of information that might have a huge impact on us.”
Parra said he applied to attend the initiative in April, following a recommendation to apply from a friend. Parra, who ran for a city council seat earlier this year, said he still has aspirations one day be a state representative or a senator.
“One of the reasons I went really hard for this is, in the last election, one of the big things I heard from a lot of people was that I didn’t have the experience to be on the city council,” he said. “I’m hoping to go to this event and to more like this to prove to the community that I’m somebody worth their vote and worth their trust. I might lack the experience, but I surely don’t lack the passion.”