In 2012, Lincoln Vallett joined us on LEAD Cape Town as a student on his first LeadAbroad experience. It was no secret that Lincoln was a student with drive, insight, and a greater passion for helping others than most can comprehend in a lifetime. The following year, Lincoln joined our team as an intern on LEAD Cape Town, and being the rockstar he is, served as a role model to over 100 students, helping them to have the trip of their dreams. He even recruited his younger sister, Alex, to go on LEAD Cape Town, and his good friend, Zach Pursley, too. Zach also went on to follow in Lincoln’s footsteps and came back as a LEAD Cape Town intern. But these LeadAbroad trips weren’t the end of Lincoln’s powerful travels.
Lincoln finished the World Race, traveling to a different country each month for almost a year, with nothing but a backpack, a group of other young, motivated people, and an open heart to serve others. This experience led him to pursue an even more permanent endeavor: a move abroad.
Read our interview, below, to learn more about Lincoln and his meaningful work around the world. It’s an honor for LeadAbroad to have worked with and learned from such an inspiring person, and to have given him a program to help serve as a foundation for the important and purposeful work he has accomplished.
LeadAbroad: Tell us about yourself!
Lincoln: I grew up in Nashville, Tennessee and graduated from the University of Tennessee Knoxville with a degree in international business. What makes me tick is my vision to see the kids that I work with to grow into leaders in their communities and country. What drives me to that vision is my hope that the impact I make is not just temporary in this world but eternal.
LeadAbroad: What are you up to these days?
Lincoln: I have been living in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the past 10 months. I work with a small organization called “Ordinary Hero,” trying to help youth break the cycle of poverty in their families. We support over 400 families and kids through sponsorship.
LeadAbroad: How did your experience abroad help you get to where you are?
Lincoln: My first abroad experience in Cape Town really opened my mind to the limitless opportunities I had. All my life I had a very limited vision for my life that went along with the typical American Dream. My LeadAbroad experience broadened my vision and was the first stepping stone that led me to where I am today.
LeadAbroad: What is your favorite aspect of the program?
Lincoln: My favorite aspect of the program was the community. I had never experienced a group of students and leaders who were as encouraging and supportive as the LeadAbroad community. They helped my confidence in who I was, and they helped my potential grow to new levels. We shared plenty of good times together, as well.
LeadAbroad: What advice do you have for our current students?
Lincoln: Cultivate vision for your life! Even if you don’t exactly know what your passions are or what you want to be in the future, decide the kind of person you want to be… and then start taking steps in that direction. Our vision gives us hope and our hope is what keeps us going.
LeadAbroad: What is your favorite quote?
Lincoln: “The glory of God is man fully alive.” Saint Irenaeus
LeadAbroad: What is your #1 song on your life playlist?
Lincoln: Float on by Modest Mouse
How amazing was that, LeadAbroad’ers?! Today we challenge you, if you’ve already been on our program, to take something you’ve learned from LeadAbroad and let it serve as a foundation in helping others. If you haven’t yet been on a LeadAbroad program – we challenge you to apply TODAY, and begin your journey of incredible self-discovery!
We’re so proud of you, Lincoln!
-The LeadAbroad Team