DALLAS — Today, President George W. Bush and President Bill Clinton visited Byron Sanders, CEO of Big Thought and Presidential Leadership Scholar (PLS) Class of 2017, at one of Big Thought’s youth programs that uses visual, performing, and digital arts to help young people improve job skills, gain a positive self-image, and increase social and emotional development. Sanders was inspired during PLS to leave his job in finance and pursue his current role at Big Thought helping close the opportunity gap by bringing the right opportunities to the kids who need them most.
2019 marks the fifth anniversary of the Presidential Leadership Scholars (PLS) program, and Sanders’ work at Big Thought is one example of how Scholars all over the country have made an impact in their communities over the last five years.
The visit took place prior to the 2019 PLS graduation ceremony at the George W. Bush Center. During the ceremony, Presidents Bush and Clinton were joined by Presidential Leadership Scholars Lisa Hallett, CEO of wear blue: run to remember, and Jay Bhatt, SVP and CMO of the American Hospital Association, for a conversation centered around the work they are doing to address veterans’ issues and challenges in health care. Watch the ceremony at www.presidentialleadershipscholars.org.
The 2019 class of Scholars is comprised of doctors, veterans, corporate professionals, attorneys, public servants, educators, and more from across the country who over the past five months have come together to collaborate and make a difference in the world as they learn about leadership through the lens of the presidential experiences of George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Lyndon B. Johnson. This year’s class will join an active network of 240 Scholars who are working to lead lasting and positive change in their communities and across the globe.
About the Presidential Leadership Scholars (PLS) program:
PLS serves as a catalyst for a diverse network of leaders brought together to collaborate and make a difference in the world as they learn about leadership through the lens of the presidential experiences of George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Lyndon B. Johnson.
Each year, a diverse group of mid-career professionals begin a journey to hone their leadership abilities through interactions with former presidents, key administration officials, leading academics, and business and civic leaders.
Scholars put their learning into action through a personal leadership project, intended to solve a problem or pressing issue in their community, country, or the world. They gain the skills necessary to work across divides and develop a network that spans traditional geographic, professional, political, and economic boundaries.
PLS challenges pre-existing perceptions and inspires the Scholars to lead lasting, positive change.