In just 30 days, Alex Quian challenged himself to undertake 30 philanthropic projects that would impact his life forever. Now, Quian is a published author, head of a young adult-led foundation, and even a host of a popular podcast. He completed all of this just two years out of graduating from Cornell University. Quian’s passion for servant leadership and community service has driven him to inspire young people to go out in their communities and become leaders in social change.
On July 21, Quian spoke at the SMU Summer Research and Entrepreneurship Symposium. In the symposium, Quian shared his story: his 30-day challenge, mentorship, and life-changing experiences as well as creating work with a purpose.
Born in The Colony, Texas, Quian was always passionate about community service and giving back. However, it was not his main priority. Quian’s priorities changed during the spring of 2019 when he was offered an internship by his mentor, Greg Weatherford II. At 12 years old, Weatherford created Young People who Care, a student-led initiative that provided service-learning opportunities to thousands of students across the United States to serve their local communities. Weatherford is currently the Director of Community Engagement & Special Projects for the Simmons School of Education and Human Development at SMU.
Through the internship, Quian discovered that he wanted to make a difference in the lives of those in his home community. However, he was not sure how to do accomplish this feat. After sharing this thought with his mentor, Weatherford challenged Quian to complete 30 service projects in 30 days. Some of the projects Quian completed in this span included starting a reading program with the DFW Boys and Girls Club, donating kits with dorm essentials for first-generation college students, and teaching soft skills to underserved youth, an experience which Quian contributes most to his realization of his passion for helping young people develop personally and professionally.
This 30-day journey propelled Quian to create the Better Together Foundation. Better Together is a Dallas-Fort Worth-based non-profit whose mission is to support the holistic development of youth by providing experiential programming that enriches them in the areas of service-learning, entrepreneurism, lifelong learning, physical and mental wellness, and professionalism. Now, Quian is offering a $20,000 scholarship to DFW high school seniors. Some who receive this scholarship will receive a paid internship through one of Better Together’s partner companies.
Quian wrote a book with Weatherford, titled “Better Together: How 30 Days of Service Changed My Life.” The book chronicles Quian’s 30 service projects in 30 days. It also details the lessons that Quian learned. In a recent interview with Mary Martin, Quian described what it was like taking his 30-day experience and sharing it with the world:
“It was a somewhat daunting but incredibly rewarding process. I truly believe that the key to healing all divisions in our community is getting back to a place where we realize we are all better when we work together. There’s no better reminder of that than serving our community. The act of working alongside others to spread kindness has a transformational power to uplift not just those we serve, but each other as well. I feel fortunate to be able to share my story of experiencing that firsthand so that I can encourage others – especially young people – to serve.”
Quian hosts a podcast titled “Mentor Moments.” The podcast provides listeners with insights for personal and professional growth from industry professionals.
To read Quian’s interview with Mary Martin, check out this link.
For more information on the Better Together Foundation and how you can support them, check out this link.
Alex was born in Dallas, Texas. He is a senior at Southern Methodist University. He is double majoring in Sports Management and Public Relations with a minor in History. He is passionate about movies, music and sports.