Name: Brian Wingate
Where from: Winston-Salem
When and where were you born?
I was born on November 1st,1974, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Who did you grow up with?
I grew up with my parents and my younger sister Sarah. We lived in the same house until I was about eleven years old, and it provided constant entertainment. So I must also list the dogwood tree, corn in the garden, the rope swing, and the creek as those that I "grew up with."
What do you like to do with friends?
This may sound boring, but I find that one of life's greatest pleasures is just enjoying the presence of a good friend. We may go hiking or play basketball or just talk, but the most fun comes from just spending time together and relaxing into that space.
What was your first experience with service?
My experience in Nicaragua comes to mind. It was not technically my first experience, but certainly the first INTENSE service experience. I spent a month in a small village outside of Managua with an organization called the Jubilee House Community. We were building a community center, and my favorite activity was making cinder block. That's tough work, but it was so rewarding to immerse myself in their lives and offer my self to them.
What things are you afraid of?
I am afraid to listen to that part of my mind that discounts my dreams. I believe that we can accomplish so much when we have love in our hearts rather than fear.
What is your favorite place?
Lantau Island in Hong Kong is an absolutely magical place. They were going to put an airport there, so I don't know if it still feels the same. The largest outdoor Buddha in the world is perched on a hill overlooking a monastery. I camped with a friend overnight on the side of the hill and we were buffeted by high winds all night. And then I crawled out of the tent in the morning and there's the big Buddha just smiling down on me. Good morning Brian! Magical.
Who or what has had an especially strong influence on the direction of your life?
There is no question that my family has been a guiding force in my life in many ways. The love of my family and their ability to follow their own dreams is a constant inspiration to me, and I look to spread that feeling of love and possibiliity throughout my own life.
What advice do you have for young people todoay>
Please, turn off the TV and create your own show! Your life is determined by your thoughts, your hopes and dreams, and your efforts. So have fun with it and remember we are all connected to each other.