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Hey, Young People: Don't Get Overwhelmed, Get Involved Hey, Young People: Don't Get Overwhelmed, Get Involved

Hey, Young People: Don't Get Overwhelmed, Get Involved

by Hannah Feldberg-Dubin

November 17, 2012

We believe that young people want to make a difference in the world. So what stops them?  Maybe they don’t know how to make a difference. Maybe it’s overwhelming. Maybe someone told them they're too young. Maybe they feel like they don’t know enough about an issue to act on it. Maybe they think “but I’m just one, what can I do?” 

Trust us, we’ve felt these doubts, too. In 1995, Craig Kielburger—at the age of 12—gathered 11 school friends to do something about child labor. They didn’t know much about it at first, but they knew they wanted to stop it. When people around them told them they were “too young,” “too inexperienced,” and “too idealistic” to make real change, they knew they had the support of each other to keep trying. And from there, Free The Children was created, and a movement grew. They realized that millions of young people, just like them (and just like you!) didn’t want to doubt their potential to create change in the world any more. So instead of feeling isolated, they were motivated.
 
Free The Children’s mission is to create a world where all young people are free to achieve their fullest potential as agents of change. Through our programming, we're inspiring a generation of young people to act. Domestically, we educate, engage, and empower youth with tools, knowledge, confidence, and support networks to be ambassadors for change and lead meaningful action. Internationally, we provide a comprehensive child-focused development approach working together with communities where people gain access to quality education, skills training and opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty—forever. And the best part is, anyone can get involved, at any age.
 
From Free The Children grew the idea of a social enterprise called Me to We. Me to We provides people with better choices for a better world. We figured that if people are going to spend money on clothing, jewelry, and travel, for example, what if they could buy ethically, environmentally sourced products and volunteer to give back when they travelled? Me to We’s social mission gives half of its profits to Free The Children and re-invests the other half into the social enterprise.
 
Maybe you’re thinking, “but there are SO many issues facing the world, where do I start?”
 
Try looking at the world like its one big orchestra. No one is asking you to learn how to play all the instruments. But we are asking you to learn how to play one instrument, really, really well.
 
Pick an issue—one that you care about, want to learn more about and make better in this world— maybe climate change, child labor, or bullying. And then take action on that issue to make it better. Pick an instrument and play as if the world depended on it. Because it does.
 
We don’t care what you get involved in, we care that you get involved.
 
So go pick your issue. And get to work!
 
To become a leader in the climate change movement, visit here and pledge your name in support of a better, cleaner tomorrow.
 
Illustration by Corinna Loo 
 
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