Syreeta believes in the power of youth culture. At the age of 23, the Jamaica, Queens, native has worked with SAFE to create an HIV/AIDS awareness program that has resulted in 500 young adults’ being tested for HIV, taught antiviolence workshops in New York City schools and founded her own organization, The SWT Life, which helps New York City teenagers find personal and entrepreneurial success. “We want to assist young people with finding their superpower by having conversations around passion, purpose, strengths,” she says. “I want young people to create stuff that they think will make a difference in the world.”
She’s also the author of Just BE Cause, a guide for millenials on “social entrepreneurship,” a term which she says means “a business that has a social change-making aspect, for example if a barbershop also ran programming teaching young people how to cut hair.”
And so, by the age of 17, she was partnering with nonprofits to create community service programs with and for young people.
“I believe in the WIN WIN WIN model,” she says. “I win, you win and the community at large wins. I have been big on leaving an amazing legacy. Service and giving is the way to make that happen, because it allows your impact to survive long after you’re physically gone.”