Tips & Advice
- 04 March 2012
- by Marvin Mathew
An empowered mass of youth have historically affected the largest political and social change in America—a historical truth. The youth of our nation represent the best and brightest of what we have to offer because they will be at the helm of leadership some day. It is my personal belief that we should accelerate that process and catapult innovation and millennial solutions to the forefront and that we, instead of waiting for tomorrow, begin to set foundations that help make these youth leaders today.
Growing up around adults that tried to motivate my friends and me to do positive things I’ve come to understand how difficult and daunting the task is for them. In the same regard I actually was motivated when I noticed another young person standing out and creating change—I wanted to emulate his or her actions through the values, morals, and ethics I learned as a child. I never acted on this idea likely because I didn’t think I could have an impact on the lives of those around me. Nonetheless, I was taught that it is our job to create better communities for each other and now it’s one of my daily objectives.
What I learned in my youngest years remained dormant in me until I was ready to embrace leadership and use those lessons to create positive change. Because of my experience I find it increasingly important to share the wealth of positive thought, strong values, rigid morals, and good integrity with the next generation. One of my recent ways of serving this purpose was to get together with some friends and coordinate a book drive. The result of two months of collaborative work was 4,000 books donated to 5 organizations working to increase literacy rates through early childhood education in New York. I think that small initiatives and service projects like these help create a platform to reach students on a personal level where they will listen to you as young person to young person.
Though we look up to athletes and admire celebrities, young people have the most impact on each other. As an engaged and always connected generation our individual successes help drive others and bring out the best out in each of us. This idea led to the creation of Re-Envision Your Future, an initiative I started with a few friends I met at the President Clinton’s CGIU in 2011. This group of young visionaries has helped impact a great deal of change world-wide through 18 initiatives on 11 different countries. With invitations for recognition at the United Nations, Capitol Hill, and State Governors I believe we are just in its infancy. This speaks to the power of young combined with social media; there is endless potential to do good.
Our collective ability to do good inspires me. The results I’ve seen by products of the work I’ve been a part of motivate me. The individuals whose lives we make better through our work as young people empower me because if we can do this much for communities now there is no doubt in my mind that we can change the world in no time.