“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

At age 15, I spent the summer as an exchange student in France, and the world of a small-town girl from New Hampshire opened up. The experience catalyzed in me a fundamental belief in the importance of building relationships across existing borders as a way of breaking down boundaries and ultimately achieving global peace and prosperity. I will be a corporate champion in the public and private sectors and will help companies build relationships across borders for two reasons. First, I believe that trade ties between countries and companies are truly the ties that bind and that companies can and should play an important leadership role in fostering international economic development. Second, I believe that I can have a significant impact in helping others see the importance of respecting foreign cultures, engaging with cultural differences, and finding the values that bring us together.

When I think about my life, I find it useful to imagine myself at age 80 and then ask my imaginary 80-year-old self to give me some advice on life. My 80-year-old self tells me to savor the joy of everyday, to be rich in my relationships with friends and family, to give others far more than I take, to pursue interesting and unique experiences, to dance with my eyes closed, and to make sure that when the wrinkles soon start forming, the deepest ones are my laugh lines!

— Lyn Baranowski