USHCA Meets with Missouri Girls State’s International Affairs Class

On June 22nd, 2021, U.S. Heartland China Association (USHCA) leaders and guests spoke with future leaders in the International Affairs Class at Missouri Girls State. The class, led by instructor Sydney Montague, a participant of the Missouri Girls State’s Delegation to China organized by USHCA a few years back, covers a variety of topics including: global citizenship, methods for engaging in U.S. foreign policy, and the importance of learning about different global cultures – ideas fundamental to USHCA’s mission. United States Heartland China Association’s partnership with Girls State represents the organization’s ongoing commitment to developing globally-minded future leaders.

USHCA chairman and CEO, former governor of Missouri Bob Holden, and Executive Director Min Fan, were joined by Mayor of Kansas City, Quinton Lucas, and Reta Jo Lewis, Director of Congressional Affairs and Senior Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Intending to share advice, wisdom, and personal insights with the class, the day’s agenda consisted of opening remarks led by Mr. Holden and Mayor Lucas, followed by a brief overview of both Ms. Lewis’ and Ms. Fan’s careers, and closed with a Q&A session with questions from students.

Introducing Mayor Lucas, Mr. Holden opened the meeting by sharing his experiences leading up to the founding of USHCA. Touching on issues facing the larger Heartland region such as the lack of industrial growth, and a lack of awareness and engagement when discussing global issues at large, Mr. Holden began looking for ways to help reinvigorate the economy of these central states. He saw China as a potential partner to lift the economy of the region. Governor Holden also stressed the importance of following one’s dreams, a sentiment further echoed by Mayor Lucas. The Mayor then shared with the class his own story of perseverance through hardships and stressed the importance of being kind to others in both personal and professional settings.

On June 22nd, 2021, U.S. Heartland China Association (USHCA) leaders and guests spoke with future leaders in the International Affairs Class at Missouri Girls State. The class, led by instructor Sydney Montague, a participant of the Missouri Girls State’s Delegation to China organized by USHCA a few years back, covers a variety of topics including: global citizenship, methods for engaging in U.S. foreign policy, and the importance of learning about different global cultures – ideas fundamental to USHCA’s mission. United States Heartland China Association’s partnership with Girls State represents the organization’s ongoing commitment to developing globally-minded future leaders.

USHCA chairman and CEO, former governor of Missouri Bob Holden, and Executive Director Min Fan, were joined by Mayor of Kansas City, Quinton Lucas, and Reta Jo Lewis, Director of Congressional Affairs and Senior Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Intending to share advice, wisdom, and personal insights with the class, the day’s agenda consisted of opening remarks led by Mr. Holden and Mayor Lucas, followed by a brief overview of both Ms. Lewis’ and Ms. Fan’s careers, and closed with a Q&A session with questions from students.

Introducing Mayor Lucas, Mr. Holden opened the meeting by sharing his experiences leading up to the founding of USHCA. Touching on issues facing the larger Heartland region such as the lack of industrial growth, and a lack of awareness and engagement when discussing global issues at large, Mr. Holden began looking for ways to help reinvigorate the economy of these central states. He saw China as a potential partner to lift the economy of the region. Governor Holden also stressed the importance of following one’s dreams, a sentiment further echoed by Mayor Lucas. The Mayor then shared with the class his own story of perseverance through hardships and stressed the importance of being kind to others in both personal and professional settings.

Following remarks by the Mayor Lucas, the conversation shifted to focus on Ms. Fan and Ms. Lewis. The two gave brief overviews of their careers, starting with Ms. Lewis discussing her shared experiences of coming from a community usually overlooked by the big leagues in Washington. Ms. Lewis also discussed her work with the U.S. State Department on subnational level issues and how she came to be involved with foreign policy work on behalf of the United States. Ms. Fan then shared insights from her unique perspective as a first-generation Chinese- American and her career shifting from the corporate realm to the nonprofit sector.

Ms. Fan’s personal stories surrounding living in a foreign space, along with navigating the corporate world as both a woman and an immigrant highlighted the importance of believing in oneself, and again following one’s dreams. Through her narrative, Ms. Fan also highlighted the staunch fact that everyone has a role to play when developing history.

Moving onto the Q&A portion of the class, students from Girls State were well-prepared to question the panelists, quizzing them on topics relating to foreign policy, personal development, and keys to female empowerment. Despite the setbacks brought on by the ongoing pandemic, USHCA was proud to participate in this initiative to inspire and further discussions for students interested in such valuable topics. USHCA looks forward to continuing work with the Missouri Girls State, launching new programs for students, and bringing back old ones such as supporting various delegations to China – once travel conditions permit such activities.

For more information on the USHCA, its initiatives and commitments to helping emerging global leaders, and its work with Missouri Girls State, please visit www.usheartlandchina.org

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