Homeschooling     Early Education     K-12     After School    

3 ways people of all ages can make the most of International Youth Day



Celebrate youth activists and combat ageism

3 ways people of all ages can make the most of International Youth Day

August 12 is International Youth Day, a United Nations effort to celebrate youth activists, combat ageism and help bridge gaps between generations working toward the same change.

No matter your age, it’s likely you’ve questioned your ability to make a difference. Research from the global nonprofit Points of Light shows that 73% of people believe that volunteering is more important than ever, yet 66% think they can’t make a big impact in their communities. Activists on the ground prove otherwise. That’s why Points of Light, which is dedicated to inspiring and equipping people to take action, has recognized thousands of volunteers for their contributions to their communities through The Daily Point of Light Award.

“Points of Light’s research found that Gen Z is the most civically engaged generation to date. Our youth honorees demonstrate that people of all ages can strengthen communities and solve persistent problems,” says Diane Quest, interim CEO, Points of Light.

To inspire you to action this International Youth Day, the organization is sharing the stories of youth honorees, along with three elements from The Points of Light Civic Circle®, a framework for helping individuals get civically engaged:

Volunteer

Nonprofit organizations and NGOs need volunteer power to deliver support to the communities they collaborate with. If you’re an adult wanting to facilitate youth volunteerism, consider organizing a youth-specific event or helping transport the young people in your life to an event. To find a volunteer opportunity that aligns with your interests and availability, check out Points of Light Engage, a database with hundreds of thousands of in-person and virtual volunteer opportunities.

The power of volunteering is apparent when considering Daily Point of Light Award honoree Nate Buescher, a high schooler who prepares food for a local food pantry and distributes home-cooked meals to tent cities around Chicago. Buescher began fighting food insecurity at age 7 with the Honeycomb Project. Today, he mentors younger volunteers while maintaining his own service projects.

READ MORE: How to make an impact through volunteering and civic engagement

Voice

The youth voice is vital, pointing us to which concerns are most important to future world leaders and helping broaden perspectives. Use your voice to advocate for causes you care about by posting on social media, attending a rally or contacting a government leader. Adults can amplify youth voices by sharing with their networks, or organizing forums for youth to be seen and heard.

Seventeen-year-old Daily Point of Light Award honoree Maanit Goel used his voice when organizing a rally of fellow activists on the Washington State Capitol steps to support legislation protecting the Chinook salmon and orca populations. He also regularly addresses state legislators, and travels statewide to speak to K-12 students about environmental issues.

Listen and Learn

Social justice and environmental issues are nuanced, involving many people with different perspectives shaped by their own experiences. Listening and learning is one way to honor others’ lived experiences and get a fuller scope of an issue.

Young people can commit to thoroughly researching causes they care about, talking to those working toward solutions and holding space for those impacted. Adults can connect with the young people in their lives, inviting dialogue that allows for sharing different perspectives and finding common ground.

These are the driving ideas behind the work of high schooler Kristie To, who became a leading force in Asian American racial justice when she founded Hearts Against Hate. Among the initiatives of her nonprofit is distributing Asian history and Asian American Pacific Islander civil rights curriculum to children.

“Cultural sensitivity starts with exposure, and that’s what we’re trying to do with these elementary schoolers,” says To.

To learn about other avenues for social engagement, check out the Points of Light Civic Circle by visiting pointsoflight.org/civic-circle.

“There are many formal channels for civic engagement, but simple actions make a difference too,” says Quest. “Whether it’s carrying groceries in for a neighbor or donating books to the library, the important thing is to get started when you see a need in your community.”

(StatePoint) 
PHOTO SOURCE: (c) Jacob Wackerhausen / iStock via Getty Images Plus


More Homeschooling


  • Indoor spots for teens to play

    Older kids need to have some play time too

    Teens need places to go that aren't lame and won't bore them to tears. We have the best in the Valley listed just for you. read more »
  • Everything you need to know about student loans

    Traditional ways of paying for college aren't working

    More American families are borrowing for college. At the same time, merit aid and the use of personal income and savings i falling. read more »
  • Everything you should to know about student loans

    Traditional ways of paying for college aren't working

    More American families are borrowing for college. At the same time, merit aid and the use of personal income and savings i falling. read more »
  • 4 ways to get involved this global volunteer month

    It's a good time to get in on the action

    Global Volunteer Month, celebrated throughout April, is a time to recognize people who actively support their communities through volunteerism and active civic engagement. It’s also a time to get in on the action. However, if you’re like many people, you may not know where to begin. read more »
  • Minimize the risk of child identity theft

    NYS Division of Consumer Protection offers advice

    Child Identity Theft is a growing problem. According to recent data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), identity theft for those under 19 years old grew 60% in three years. read more »
  • 5 reasons why your child should (and can) learn how to play chess

    A revolutionary new game that helps kids learn this game of strategy

    Chess is one of the oldest and most popular games in history, with early forms of the game dating back to the 6th century CE. The game has certainly seen a revival since the pandemic began, as people around the globe have dusted off their chess boards and even binged one of the most-watched series ever inspired by the masterful game for much-needed entertainment. read more »
  • Visit cool sculpture parks in the Hudson Valley

    These sculptures are generally huge and sure to please

    Visit fun and educational sculpture gardens in the Hudson Valley. Sculpture Parks and their gardens are a unique way for families to appreciate and enjoy art. The open spaces are wonderful for kids of all ages. Most locations offer space to roam and enable us to enjoy these unique pieces at our own pace. read more »
  • 5 ways to get kids excited about STEM learning

    The country needs more good scientists

    The events of the past couple of years have shown how important scientists are to making the world a better and safer place. read more »
  • Keep kids learning during summer

    3 fun, easy ways

    With school out, summertime brings long, carefree days of play and fun. With a little thought and a few supplies, summer is a perfect opportunity to revitalize their innate love of learning that may be a bit squashed after a year of academic pressures, tests and schedules. read more »
  • 6 tips to mitigate mental health risks for youth

    The surgeon general highlight the urgent need to address Youth Mental Health Crisis

    Today’s kids are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety at home, school and in their communities. The COVID-19 pandemic, which affected kids in all those places, only exacerbated the problem. read more »