Youth as Changemakers

Millennials have a high rate of volunteerism and are said to contribute to their communities in ways that help the greater good. That’s why the Dream It Do It (DIDI) project might be a great opportunity for libraries to connect with teens. Global Kids, an organization in New York City that works with youth in a variety of ways including exploring digital media, have a partnership with Youth Venture and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to work in Teen Second Life with teens to launch a venture and be changemakers in their communities.

Why TSL? Many teens who launch their ventures do so outside of the virtual world. However, connecting with a virtual environment AND spending time face to face, might help them connect with their project in ways that can be more creative and deeper for some. The above picture illustrates an excersize a group of teens called the Cool Kids are working on. The balls in the air have text on top of them that represent what their interests/hobbies/and passions are. They listed things like basketball, football, music, candy (!) and then connected those interests with issues they saw in their communities such as gangs, violence, keeping kids off the streets, etc. That is the beginning of helping them build their ventures which are all youth led.

Why Libraries? We’re all about connecting to the community and many of us have Teen Advisory Boards and other groups of teens that are fantastic volunteers making a difference in many ways and using the resources of the library to do so. If you think you might be interested in connecting with this project, there are plenty of opportunities for new youth ventures! Contact Amira Fouad (amira at globalkids dot org) with Global Kids for more information.

Published by

Kelly Czarnecki

Kelly Czarnecki is a Teen Librarian at ImaginOn with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. She is a member of the YALSA blog advisory board.