“When I left you, I was but the learner. Now I am the master.” That’s what Darth Vader said to Obi-Wan Kenobi in the 1977 classic film Star Wars. It’s a good thing when a teacher sees that a former student is thriving. Part of the greater goal is to give one’s pupil the skills to be even greater than you were. The downside, in this example at least, was that Vader wasn’t merely demonstrating his personal growth to his old teacher… he was also evil.
An Incredible Journeyman
Pavel Reppo’s youthful wisdom is changing philanthropy
Pavel Reppo is Beanstalk’s Darth Vader… without the evil. In fact, take the inverse of a Darth Vader-ian amount of evil and you’ve got a percentage of the Good that Pavel comprises and doles out. A few years back, Pavel was an intern with us, or… if you like a “learner.” Now, just a handful (assuming you have tiny hands) of years later, he is a Beanstalk Leader. We won’t, and don’t take any credit for his journey, but we’re damn proud to have been on the list of his influencers.
Pavel was born in Belarus, a long time after most of us. He’s only 22, you see. And 2013 is the year he finished his undergraduate studies at CU in Boulder. As a recent graduate, you might expect he’d be taking time to get his feet wet, easing into the job market, considering an entry level opportunity at an established company or organization… But, no. Pavel is already an entrepreneur and innovator in social good. He’s been an owner and the brains behind The Wayfaring Band since 2012.
Through The Wayfaring Band, Pavel and his team equip young adults with special needs and emerging thought leaders with valuable social tools to deftly navigate the diverse needs of a global community. Through road trips, social programs, and leadership for hire (including workshops, seminars, and trainings facilitated by Pavel and co-manager Andrea Moore), The Wayfaring Band creates a reciprocal connection between leaders, youth with special needs, and themselves. Most important to Pavel is the way The Wayfaring Band is organized. He and Andrea have built a culture of connection and exchange, rather than one of haves and have nots, or givers and recipients. It’s this egalitarian concept of collaboration that makes Pavel’s view of good works special. We all have need sometimes, and so we all give…
To get an even clearer sense of Pavel’s youthful wisdom, here is an unedited anecdote: “Every Friday I spend several hours hanging out with Cody. Whether we go for a walk, take a drive to the library, or play a board game, our time is never enough. I have been writing a book with Cody for the past year and a half. Cody never learned how to read and write when he was younger. With that, Cody will dictate his story and I transcribe his unique intonation patterns, his grammar, and voice to the tee. We have countless pages of memoir-style narrative. The Wayfaring Band published a zine of some of his excerpts.”
Pavel Reppo is unique in his drive and compassion. He’s inspiring in his wisdom. And he’s already made the shift from learner to teacher, because, he’d probably say it’s all one continuum anyway. Everyone who touched Pavel’s life is seeing incredible returns on their investment, and we’re all so proud to know that he’ll reinvest every bit into making the world better today and tomorrow.