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Theatre and Communication Studies student Cassie Moreno recently attended the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit, where thousands of the world’s top innovators under 30 gathered in Boston. Northeastern University had 100 slots to the conference available, and students applied with essay questions and were accepted by Forbes on a rolling basis. Cassie had a great experience attending the summit; read more about it in her own words:

“Forbes 30 Under 30 was a great experience! I got to check out the Under 30 Village and the music festival on Sunday night, but my favorite part of the conference was the Impact stage on Monday and Tuesday. I was so proud that this part was held at Northeastern!

One of the talks that struck me the most was given by Katie Meyler, founder of the organization More Than Me in Liberia. Katie’s organization builds and creates schools for girls in Liberia, and is now using its model to rebuild Liberia’s education system in the wake of Ebola. As someone studying theatre but planning to go into politics, Katie’s talk inspired me due to her intermingling of spoken word with her appeal. She spoke for a bit about More Than Me, and then paused and performed an incredible spoken word piece about the children she met during the Ebola crisis. It was an incredibly moving production, much more so than a speech on its own would have been. It reminded me of the many ways theatre can be intertwined with politics, social entrepreneurship, and changing the world!

It was also really amazing to hear from DeRay McKesson. DeRay is an activist and organizer outside of Baltimore, and is considered one of the leaders, if not THE leader, of the Black Lives Matter movement. I’ve followed his activism for some time on social media, and it was so cool to hear from him in person! He stressed that he is not against systems themselves; instead, he believes that systems in our society have broken over time, and that we must identify where and how that has happened in order to fix the current issues we are seeing. He also spoke of bringing the truth to the table, and stressed that individuals can do this with their friends and family. I really took away the power of conversation to change people’s minds.

Overall, I’m really glad I had the experience of being a Forbes 30 Under 30 Scholar, and can’t wait for my moment to be up there on stage as an actual 30 Under 30 (someday!)”