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New Leaders Council

Meet the 2018 Fellows: Jonathan Renteria

Leading up to our Progressing the Good Life event on June 8, we will be introducing the 2018 fellows. Today, we meet Jonathan Renteria.

Tell us a little about yourself.  

I was born to two Mexican immigrant parents who came to this country to find safe haven from violence, as well as economic opportunity. My mom raised me and my two younger brothers on her own and instilled in us the capacity to value people's individual stories and how each person brings something to this world. She is a real fighter, who had to grow up at a young age to raise her three rowdy boys, as well as fight the uncertainty that being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer brought our family. She has won every battle she has faced and I am a better person in my education, work, community, and family because of her.

Why New Leaders Council (NLC)?

New Leader's Council aligns with my values of wanting to create environments where people from all walks of life are valued and have a seat at the change-making table. There are many injustices in the world, and it's more than reasonable to be overwhelmed by it all and feel like nothing can be done. NLC connects people who want to enact change with the knowledge that it takes to make it a reality.

What have you gained through your experience at NLC?

Through NLC I have gained new perspectives on the battles that go on around us each day that may not be getting the attention they deserve. Seeing the world outside of ourselves is one of the most difficult things someone can do, but also one of the most beautiful. Those that can share in the struggle of others are more likely to be there to thrive in their success, and that is what NLC is about.

Briefly describe your capstone project.

I would like to create an arts-based leadership development program that helps young people tell the stories of struggle and injustice they see every day but may not be able to put into words or action.

Support Jonathan and all of NLC by attending "Progressing the Good Life" on June 8. Buy tickets today at

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