Global youth leader Jennifer Corriero to graduate from York

Left: Jennifer Corriero

She has garnered the attention of Microsoft’s Bill Gates and former US President Bill Clinton. Time magazine featured her as a leader for Canada’s Next Generation and the World Economic Forum named the 23-year-old a Global Leader for Tomorrow.

Her name is Jennifer Corriero and tomorrow she will receive her BA in liberal studies from York’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies during the Fall Convocation ceremonies.

Corriero is executive director of TakingITGlobal (TIG), a non-profit organization aimed at youth 13 to 30 from around the world that she co-founded. TIG promotes socially and environmentally responsible entrepreneurial activities through technology, communication, collaboration and community.

The organization acts as a hub for more than 25,000 youth from more than 200 countries, for sharing information about projects, events, scholarships and nonprofit organizations. It is also a platform for creative expression – art, poetry, articles and personal experiences.

“I think that with each moment we live and each decision we make, we have an impact on our own lives and the lives of those around us. Most of the time, we are unconscious of the impact that we have. I think that the first way for ‘others to make an impact’ is to become more conscious and aware of the decisions we make and the choices we have,” says Corriero (below, right) on the TakingITGlobal Web site.

“Once this happens, we are able to critically examine our own lives, and imagine new possibilities for ourselves and the world. There are an infinite number of ways to affect change and have an impact. The question we should ask ourselves should centre around what contribution we want to make, what kind of experiences we want to have, and what kind of world we want to live in.”

Corriero was nominated for the World Economic Forum’s Global Leader award by two eminent Canadians: Maurice Strong, environmental crusader and adviser to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan; and Don Tapscott, author of The Digital Economy and Growing Up Digital: The Rise of the Net Generation. Last year, Corriero had breakfast with Clinton during the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in New York City.  

There she also touched base with Gates, her sometime boss. She spent six months at Microsoft’s Seattle headquarters advising senior executives on how the next generation will use technology. She has consulted for numerous other companies, too, including Xerox and Swatch.

Corriero credits York University with providing her with an education offering a unique world view. “York has provided me with a multidisciplinary learning experience and knowledge which has helped me with practical decision making and problem solving in my organization. It has shaped the holistic way in which I see the world and defined new possibilities.”

As an organizing committee member for the Youth Employment Summit, held in Alexandria, Egypt, in September 2002, Corriero represented Canadian youth at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa, the same year. She is also part of the Canadian delegation for the World Summit on the Information Society. Fittingly, the National Congress of Italian Canadians recognized her as its 2002 Youth Achievement Award winner.

Left: The painting “Colourful Pattern” – an example of the artwork of Jennifer Corriero, posted on the TakingITGlobal Web site

Corriero has presented at several events including the 5th Stockholm “Challenge Global Forum and Exhibition” in Sweden on the topic of knowledge-transfer and the 2003 UNESCO Youth Forum in Paris.

She is now pursuing her master’s degree in York University’s Faculty of Environmental Studies. Her area of concentration is “Youth Engagement and Capacity-Building across Cultures.”