A Heritage High School junior, Satre has a lofty ambition: to become a prominent powerbroker in international finance and politics. He got one step closer to that role when an invitation came in the mail to a group he had never heard of – the Commonwealth Club of California.
The Commonwealth is the nation’s oldest and most reputable public-affairs forum. Its purpose is to bring together business, political and academic leaders for frank and nonpartisan discussion of current issues and solutions to them. Speakers at the Club include Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Hilary Clinton, Bill Gates, George Soros, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the CEOs of Chevron and Coca-Cola, Nancy Pelosi and Martin Luther King, Jr.
The reception in San Francisco was crowded, as prospective members from across the Bay Area sought a glimpse into the Commonwealth. Satre was the youngest person there, and the only teenager. While dining, he met with several politicians, lobbyists and social advocates, and got a book signed by a Nobel laureate in economics. Satre is one of a handful of teenagers to have been inside the Commonwealth Club since its founding in 1903.
Satre knew since middle school that his future would be in economics and international politics. “I have wanted to be an entrepreneur since fifth grade,” said Satre. He voraciously read all he could on politics, finance, psychology and history. “I was involved to the point where in seventh grade I was reading about business law, economic indicators and entrepreneurship. I got involved in the stock market and made a profit during the recession. That made me real proud.”
In high school, Satre learned about the history of power, the shortcomings of the mind, the art of commerce and government, and the application of the English language. He wrote to Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor and met with him in City Hall to discuss the future of the economy. From then on, Taylor and Satre have shared a good friendship. He also began networking, and is now connected with people in Washington D.C., Wall Street, and an economics professor at Yale.
Last month, the day after his invitation to the Commonwealth, Satre was offered an internship at the Wall Street Journal by its CEO. Last week, he was also offered membership in the Academy of Political Science, a think-tank of Ivy League colleges. “This year was not the best year academically for me,” Satre said. “But in terms of personal growth, I really soared. I’d say it was a worthy compromise.”
His personal library now contains more than 300 books, and he spends whatever time he can learning more. “Classmates and people I thought friends regard me as strange, ambitious, greedy and even referred to me as ‘the Antichrist,’” he chuckled.
“I know I’m not normal, and am proud of it. I’m not quarterback or valedictorian, but I followed my passion, and in this day of mundane pop culture, that is something to be proud of. I feel enlightened to understand what’s going on, while my colleagues are either distracted or misled with the current state of affairs. I cannot identify with them, but that is a very negligible price to pay for the privilege.”
Following graduation, Satre intends to study economics and international relations at Yale on a Gates Millennium Scholarship, then at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. He is unclear on what exactly the future holds for him and the world, but knows he will be there to solve problems and make history.