In the spring of 2013, Glenn and his wife Mindy, requested select Horatio Alger Scholars to submit essays on the theme of "Surviving and Thriving" for an opportunity to attend the Stearns' first Scholar Mentoring Leadership retreat on Richard Branson's exclusive Necker Island. Themed "Surviving & Thriving," the retreat intention was to amplify the value of adversity in finding & living our "Purpose." Six scholars were selected for the gathering which also included leaders of industry and their spouses, as well as several world-renowned guest speakers: mountaineer and "Touching the Void" author Joe Simpson, Everest disaster survivor Dr. Beck Weathers, and American Vietnam POW Captain Charlie Plumb. Everyone attending shared their "survivor" stories including Richard Branson and Glenn. All bonded over the resilience of the human spirit, and left inspired intending to live with more meaning, purpose, and community.
Richard Branson shared with the world in this blog what an impact the Stearns Mentoring Leadership Retreat event made on him. He also used the Stearns' gathering as inspiration to celebrate and Honor Nelson Mandela's 95th Birthday, also recognized as a Global Day of Service.
Captain Charlie Plumb, a 6-year Vietnam prisoner of war survivor, and Hall of Fame Speaker, blogged for Virgin's website about his experience at the Stearns Mentoring Retreat. He also shares his philosophies regarding true "Purpose" and "Surviving & Thriving."
Keith Harkin, a multiple #1 World Billboard album artist, original member of Celtic Thunder, and signed with legendary David Foster - Verve Records, was invited by Stearns to entertain the group with his heartfelt music. The Irish powerhouse singer was so inspired by the student’s stories of "Surviving and Thriving" that he penned the uplifting song "You Can Tell The World."