There are many reasons why we look up to Ian Somerhalder as a role model. Sure, he plays one of our favorite TV vampires ever, Damon Salvatore, but this guy is even more incredible in the real world. The Vampire Diaries star is constantly trying to save the world and even has a penchant for trying to empower the youth of today.


“What I’d rather do is empower these young people with knowledge,” Ian recently told CNN. “We’ve developed a program — I keep calling it a curriculum. It’s called ‘The [U] Factor’ and we’re going to use this at the sanctuary that we’re building. It’s about unlocking potential in young people. Once you identify a young person’s passions and skill set, holy goodness, you see this young person transform, and that’s what we need — we need innovators.”

Geez, how does Ian have the time to come up with a “curriculum” for helping unlock a young person’s hopes and dreams? Does he have a time-turner? We expect this dude to be busy filming a hit CW show for most of the year, but apparently he’s thinking of how he can amass an army of super awesome teens.

There you have it, millennials — Ian Somerhalder is your leader.

Do you think Ian is a role model to young people? Hit the comments and sound off!

Season 6 of The Vampire Diaries premieres Thursday, October 2, at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.


Carson Blackwelder is an Associate Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow him on Twitter and Google+!