Youth: The Change-Makers
Today’s youth are powerful. People under the age of 25 comprise over 40% of the world’s population. And with the rise of collaborative technologies and social media, these nearly 2 billion youth worldwide can easily connect with each other despite the physical limitations of geographic distances.
Evidence of this power can be seen in several instances globally and locally. Alec Loorz, a California native, at the age of 17 brought his peers together in 45 countries for the globally attended “iMatter March” for climate change. In a day of solidarity in 2011, youth around the world gathered in their individual communities to let those in power know that degrading the environment is a challenge to the well-being of their future.
In 2012, university students in Mexico joined together to create “Yo Soy 132” to protest what they believed to be a bias media representation of then presidential candidate Enrique Pena Nieto. In a viral video, these youth held out their student IDs like badges of honor to confirm their affiliation with their universities and to take personal responsibility for their opinions and actions in the Yo Soy protest movement.
Here in Chicago in 2016, four young black women between the ages of 16 and 17 years old in high school banded together to organize a silent protest in Millennium Park against gun violence and police brutality. They worked hard to ensure that their massive sit in of over 1,000 attendees was peaceful. Since the protest, they’ve continued to encourage collective action to stop the violence and raise awareness by founding the organization Youth for Black Lives.
These stories prove that our thoughts and opinions are valuable and that at any age we are capable of motivating the masses. So what’s an issue that moves your heart? And what change would you like to see? Think about it. Change is possible. Find YOUR way.
“Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.” – Mary Kay Ash