The need for philanthropy couldn’t be more prevalent than it is now. In a time where discussions about advancement, unity, and making a long-term social impact are openly discussed, finding people who are making humanitarian tidal waves is not only refreshing, it’s critical to the progression of society. Not surprisingly, millennials are taking the lead on blazing bolder paths towards social justice, education, empowerment, and advancement for all people. From launching multimillion-dollar companies to leading marches and protests, Generation Y’ers are making their names and contributions widely known.
Such is the case for Dr. Maurice A. Lee, a successful black pharmacist filling more than prescriptions from doctors. Through the Maurice A. Lee Scholarship Fund (MALSF), Dr. Lee is helping students fulfill their educational goals regardless of the financial disparities they may face. He has raised and dispersed more than $60,000 in scholarships since the inception of his fund in 2006. He started the fund to commemorate his 30th birthday, thus proving that millennials are not only capable of thinking outside of the box, they’re also strongly committed to their values and seeing society’s positive potential.
Social responsibility is a major factor in the decisions millennials make. It appears that creating new standards, bridging gaps, and increasing access to opportunities and resources is at the forefront of their missions—professionally and personally. Dr. Lee is the first black male pharmacist from Eutawville, South Carolina. When he first began pursuing his career, the pharmacy industry didn’t see a lot of representation from African American males.
“It has become a responsibility of mine to be an example to others,” Dr. Lee says of the decision to pursue his career despite its lack of diversity. “If they can see me advancing and progressing, then they can strive to be like me or better.” His vision for raising the bar, while reaching out to uplift anyone with the passion to see the “bigger picture,” is shared amongst his peers.
There are a few things that millennials like Dr. Lee bring to the table that we can learn from:
- They balance their personal achievements with the desire to give back. It’s important for millennials to make a name for themselves, but it’s equally important for them to build a community of thriving people who set out to get things done and improve their quality of life.
- They seek long-term resolutions, versus settling for immediate answers. Millennials are bold and passionate people who get frustrated with repetition. They don’t let their passions die and they constantly seek answers. Creating a long-term solution helps them to avoid repeating the same problem over and over again, making them feel like they’re wasting their time.
- The status quo is unacceptable. Period. Millennials thrive on making measurable changes. This means that accepting things the way they are doesn’t sit well with them. They dig deeper in order to surface better solutions that positively shape our perspectives of the world.
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