We recently met with Kenji Summers, the energetic mind behind the Passport Project. Inspired by a song and a trip to Barcelona, Kenji decided to start an exciting initiative to help people see the world. As he describes, “I was on my way to Barcelona listening to Lupe’s ”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtjIW_byi14" target="_blank">Paris Tokyo Remix. One of the artists on the song says we should start a coalition to help people travel and see the world. I thought – why not? That’s a powerful idea and seeing the world starts with a passport."
Kenji’s Passport Project is ambitious but more importantly it employs a really smart strategy for change. By tackling the first step – helping young people obtain a passport – Kenji hopes to increase passport ownership of urban high school and college students to 51% in the US. Currently more than 63% of the American population are without passports and that number increases when you consider 18-29 year olds with financial backgrounds that don’t allow the opportunity for travel.
The Passport Project, through its Coalition and Millennial Grants, works to inform young people about how to obtain a passport, it helps them afford the application fees and ultimately the project inspires them to become global citizens by traveling as much as possible. As Kenji tells us, “I hope the Passport Project will redefine the coming of age experience, meaning of success, and rebrand the Millennial Generation as the Global (Citizen) Generation.” You can help support the Passport Project by visiting their site and spreading the word.
Words & Photography: Taj Reid