Charles Koch Foundation (CKF) Executive Director Ryan Stowers sat down with Roadtrip Nation students to discuss how his career took shape, and to offer advice for young people discovering and forging their own paths.
Created 15 years ago by three friends trying to uncover their callings, Roadtrip Nation is now a national organization dedicated to helping people find career and life fulfillment. Through interviews with thousands of professionals, its platform helps learners answer that essential question: “What should I do with my life?”
In his interview, Stowers traces his childhood in Utah, mission work in Hungary, a detour to study medicine, and his arrival at CKF, where he now manages vision and strategy.
“Try to find a pathway that aligns with those things you’re good at,” Stowers told students. “When I was younger, I thought I knew what I wanted to become. As I grew up and went through school, I realized that I was actually better suited for other things. I encourage you to pay attention to the things you’re good at rather than trying to fit into a standard box that isn’t right for you.”
Stowers has been a leader at CKF for more than 15 years. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in political economy from Utah State University, and worked for the American Enterprise Institute before coming to CKF. Read more.
The Charles Koch Foundation partners with social entrepreneurs to drive societal progress through academic research and innovations that help all learners realize their potential. Read more about our mission to help all people unlock their potential.