GPYouth USA Featured Leader: José Alberto Dután Jr.

Naomi Yakawich
September 23, 2016

“In the process of becoming a leader do not look for shortcuts because there are none.” -José Dután Jr.

This September, Global Peace Youth is excited to introduce an exemplary young leader: José Alberto Dután Jr. José is a student of Homeland Security and Government at St. John’s University. He is active on campus as a member of the Latin American Student Organization, Homeland Security Club, and National Society of Leadership and Success, while also acting as the Chair of Advocacy for UNICEFSJU and Representative for St. John’s Century Hall Council.

José participates in in Midnight Runs, a service event where students prepare meals for the homeless in New York City. “I take part in it because it’s an issue that I hold dear to my heart and because it’s the moral thing to do as a human being. If you see someone who needs help the moral thing to do is to help him or her. The people that I meet during these runs are regular people just like you and I, but somewhere along the line their life turned upside down. The most striking part of the event is that you realize no one is immune to being homeless.”

Volunteers for IYLA at the UN in NYC pose (José Dután pictured center)

An active representative of GPY-USA, José participated in the latest International Young Leaders Assembly held in New York in August of 2016 as a volunteer staff member. He shared why he resonates with GPY’s advocacy for moral and innovative leadership saying, “If you look throughout the world and see every major event that is currently happening, or had happened, you will soon realize that behind every significant episode was a leader. That is why I believe in the importance of leaders as moral and innovative role models because they dictate society, and by having that ability they can shape the future. However, leaders must be moral and innovative for the right reasons. If not they will only damage society. By being a leader that’s moral and innovative for the right reasons, you demonstrate positive qualities and certain principles that will be instilled in people who will pass these traits down. In addition, a leader that is both moral and innovative has a huge impact because through their morality they can connect with people and understand what they desire. Furthermore, through innovation a leader will know no limits to what is possible and that is what makes them great. For instance, take a look at Martin Luther King, Jr., Mohandas Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and others. These people grew up during rough times, but they did not let the difficulties in life stop them from achieving the impossible and by doing so they were able to change the world.”

“Always set the bar high and never ever let negativity affect you.”

José left us with his final piece of advice, “For those who are aspiring to become a moral and innovative leader, it is important to note that anyone can become a leader. However, to become a leader it is not easy, you must be willing to do your part and work hard. Equally important, you must have the passion for whatever you hope to be a leader for. By having the passion you in turn will have the desire and determination to go far and beyond, which will eventually lead to your success. In the process of becoming a leader do not look for shortcuts because there are none and do not attempt to copy those who are already leaders because it will not work. Leaders create their own paths and what worked for them will most likely not work for you because everyone’s starting point is different. A true innovative leader will pave their own path if there are none to begin with and that is something everyone should take note. If you observe and study many leaders you will discover that all of them are where they are today because they were not afraid of change. Its crucial that you expose yourself to different opportunities and if you cannot find one then make one. You have to defy your fear of change and leave your comfort zone and in the process of doing so you will see many changes coming your way. To clarify, great things happen to those who leave their comfort zone. Lastly, always set the bar high and never ever let negativity affect you and as a great man once said, ‘the ones that are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that do.’”

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