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You most likely have heard many people talking about changing the course of the world. But how many of these people are actually doing the work to help create the change? How many are contributing to making society better, instead of just talking about it? When we start looking around for examples of changemakers, who are leading with their actions and using innovative approaches to solve problems and strengthen communities, someone who checks all the boxes is Jeremy C. Park.
Jeremy is the CEO of cityCURRENT, an organization that serves as a privately funded catalyst with a mission to ‘power the GOOD.’ cityCURRENT is a partnership of over 100 companies, including some of the world’s largest employers, along with midsize and smaller firms, that have joined forces and funds to support non-profits, lead philanthropic initiatives, host free community events, foster collaboration and spread goodness in society. The organization hosts more than 300 events each year, which are focused on enrichment and include workshops and panel discussions, city building lunches, a signature speaker series with national guest speakers, non-profit tours, volunteer days and more. Even during the pandemic, the events have continued virtually, and the support for non-profits has not waivered. Along with physically serving non-profits, cityCURRENT financially supports charities and also helps raise further awareness and funds through their broadcast media, which includes three television shows, two radio shows, a weekly newspaper column and podcast. The organization even has an e-learning and online personal development platform called GROWTHcurrent, where individuals around the world can access learning modules and virtual events with industry experts and thought leaders.
Park is not only the CEO, but he is the architect of an innovative model of social entrepreneurialism that is using strategic corporate philanthropy to create collective impact and serve humanity. At a time when we need companies to step up and help our communities the most, he and his team are creating the avenues to leverage relationships and resources for the greater good. Park personally produces and hosts the television and radio shows, along with a podcast, which are all focused on spotlighting individuals and organizations making a difference in their communities in order to share lessons learned and encourage more people to get involved. He also is a columnist and has authored two books focused on the power of purpose and how to achieve success in a way that benefits others and the community. Park speaks regularly to youth groups, college students and large business forums to talk about his ideology of ‘Giving for Growth,’ which is the title of his second book, and how to leverage one’s purpose to become a changemaker.
For his efforts, Jeremy has been recognized in Forbes, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! News, Leader’s Edge and other renowned publiciations. He has been listed in Top 40 Under 40 and featured in best-selling books like The Good Ones: Ten Crucial Qualities of High-Character Employees by Dr Bruce Weinstein. More importantly, though, aside from his career accolodates, he continues to personally serve and volunteer in the community. He is a volunteer coach for his younger son’s middle school tennis team, he serves on both non-profit and education boards, and regularly volunteers for projects focused on improving the community.
Jeremy’s philanthropic nature is a result of his upbringing. He grew up in a small town in Texas, where his parents taught him the real meaning of kindness. They had an open-door policy, where they warmly welcomed anyone who needed help into their home. Whether it was someone facing a job loss or divorce, someone needing food or just a listening ear, his parents never shied away from helping people. The more his parents helped, the more powerful connections were made and relationships formed, which opened up new doors of opportunities for the Park family. Experiencing this at a young age was transformative for Jeremy and his younger brother, who went on to serve in the United States Marine Corps.
Understanding the energy you give to others will become the energy you receive back from your community has become a source of inspiration for Jeremy, personally and professionally. The mission of cityCURRENT to ‘power the GOOD’ also serves as a personal call to action, not just for Jeremy, but for all of us. When you look at some of the things Jeremy and cityCURRENT have done, like providing a wounded veteran hero with a mortgage-free home, helping to mobilize thousands of volunteers to remove litter and cleanup lakes, and then wash the feet of thousands of youth, providing them with new socks and shoes, as part of their Samaritan’s Feet shoe distributions, it both warms your heart and exemplifies how taking action can inspire others to serve. Taking small steps each day to help others and support non-profits can lead to movements that create larger community transformation. So, the next time you hear someone talking about creating change, simply point them toward Jeremy C. Park and cityCURRENT, and encourage them to ‘Think BIG, start small, but most importantly, ACT NOW.’
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