Gary Sheng

Gary Sheng

Co-Founder & Chief Innovation Officer

Civics Unplugged

New York, NY USA

If you're not flourishing while you're trying to make the world a better place, you're doing it wrong.


By Roadtrip Nation

Gary Sheng


My road in life took a while to figure out.
I spent the first 22 years of my life setting myself up to climb the corporate ladder—I worked hard to test into a magnet high school where I led multiple clubs so I could get into a good college.
I went to Duke University where I focused on getting good grades in order to land internships.
I was able to get an internship with Google as a software engineering intern, which then led to a full-time position with Google as a software engineer team lead after I graduated.
My only two priorities after graduating were to host fun parties and to get promoted at work.
When the 2016 presidential election happened, I realized I didn’t know much about how the world works, so I started getting into online activism.
As I got more involved in activism, I started to lose myself in the anger surrounding major political issues and wasn’t able to maintain good relationships with my loved ones anymore.
I decided to spend the next year humbly learning, thinking about our democracy, and trying to understand how we’d become so polarized.
I eventually met my co-founders for Civics Unplugged—we realized if we didn’t do something about our democracy now, it would fall apart, so we created our organization to help Gen Z create change.
Keep following my journey


Co-Founder & Chief Innovation Officer

I empower Gen Z with the training, funding, and network they need to become the civic innovators in their communities.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Non-Profit Organizations
Helping People

Day to Day

Much of my day-to-day involves mentoring members of the community, developing curriculum for the members, developing partnerships, communicating what we do through podcasts and social media, and raising money.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

I recommend attending free or affordable workshops and bootcamps related to computer science instead of paying a ton of money to learn how to code through university. Read a ton of books and podcasts across the "political aisle" to understand how American civics and politics works. Fall in love with self-directed and small-group learning. I recommend doing a lot of self-development work during high school and college so you understand your passions and strengths.


The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"You have to pick an educational and career path and stick to it."

Interviewed By



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