Allison Yamamoto

Columbia University
Sacramento, CA, USA

Allison Wins Gold

Allison Yamamoto might be young, but she has already been recognized by her peers, school, community, and even the United States government for her accomplishments as a globally minded social entrepreneur.  A recipient of a scholarship to attend the ICL Global Leaders Academy in 2011, Allison has been a staunch advocate for creating and maintaining social networks of peers around the world.  As she claims, “students like me were inspired to create positive change in our local and global communities. We exchanged thoughts and perspectives, collaborating through challenges of diversity. Throughout this process, we discovered parallels between our seemingly polar cultures and not only listened to each other, but also built bridges larger intangible bridges through a passion for global service. The entire experience enlightened me, and I returned to Sacramento with hope.”

Allison harnessed that hope, and with a passion for bettering global education, she initiated her very own service project to strengthen the educational base for local elementary school students in greater Sacramento.  Allison developed peer networks of her own, in the vein of those she was provided during her time in Canada, and recruited over 50 accomplished high school scholars to volunteer as tutors for these young children,.  Their goal was to increase student aptitude and achievement in a variety of subjects ranging from reading to mathematics.  Overall, Allison managed to coordinate tutoring arrangements for over 80 students and has built the program to be self sustaining once she leaves this fall for college.

Because of the legacy she has already left on the educational system in California’s state capital, Allison was awarded a congressional medal of honor by Congresswoman Doris Matsui for her commitment to service and leadership within the community.  Allison went on to say, “I never thought that I could really impact my community because I am only a teenager. The ICL curriculum gave me a road map to achieve my dreams step -by-step. The scholarship I received and this experience meant everything to me.”

As Allison ventures on to college, she plans to continue developing her commitment to service learning by serving as an agent of change in a multiplier effect that can help thousands of youth around the world.