Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Seven Ways You Can Support Youth In Your Community

October 17, 2013

It is time for us to celebrate that kids are, and will continue to be, a force for positive change. Youth are setting a high bar for the rest of us to follow. They help us challenge our assumptions and our perspectives – and ultimately inspire us to improve our own lives. Their optimism, ingenuity, dedication, enthusiasm, and ability to engage large numbers of  “change makers” makes it important for us to offer more opportunities to support their ideas and efforts.

If you missed our Family Day: Kids Can on September 28, read about our featured guests – all of whom are great examples of youth making positive change.

7 Ways You Can Support Youth in Your Community

Our Kids Can Family Day wasn’t the first time we’ve engaged with youth in the community. Over the last year, we worked with local teens to plan a teen night, and offered workshops where students created “action plans” to improve lives. We are committed to encouraging their enthusiasm and empowering them to share their ideas. Join in and help us with our efforts.

Here are a few ways you can support kids in their efforts to create positive change:

  • Listen: Listen to their ideas and help them create an action plan to make their idea a reality.
  • Collaborate: Encourage them to talk to others who can help them with their idea.
  • Remove Barriers: Help them trouble shoot and find ways to remove barriers that prevent them from making their idea a reality.
  • Spread the Word: Tell your friends about your child’s idea.
  • Help them share their ideas: Use a variety of communication resources to get the word out about their idea. Some to consider: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, e-mail, creating a website, posting a YouTube video, creating a poster, and speaking at a community center or a school.
  • Help Others: Have conversations about the unique skills of your individual family members and talk about ways to apply these skills for others in need. The Volunteer Match website is a great place to start.
  • Lead by Example: Be a positive role model and take action on an idea you have to help make positive change in your community.

Further Reading

If you want to learn more, check out a few great resources below on kids making a difference.

Want more ideas? Like the Visitor Center on Facebook or stop by in person to get inspiration from our interactive exhibits. We’d love to see you there. 

 
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