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Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace. If, however, they are left on society’s margins, all of us will be impoverished. Let us ensure that all young people have every opportunity to participate fully in the lives of their societies. — Kofi Annan
Anyone who thinks young people can’t change the world has never met Olivia Bouler, Madison Kimrey or Xiuhtezcatl Martinez.
Painting for the birds
When she was just a fifth grader, Olivia Bouler raised $200,000 to clean up the Gulf oil spill by selling her own watercolor paintings for donations. Today, Bouler, who is now in high school has her own book, Olivia’s Birds: Saving the Gulf, which features her hand-drawn illustrations. Proceeds of book sales are donated to Audubon’s Gulf Coast clean up efforts.
(Start video at 9:20 to see Olivia’s recent keynote presentation at NYU.)
Like Olivia’s Birds on Facebook
New generation of suffragettes
Twelve-year-old Madison Kimrey stands up for voter pre-registration in her home state of North Carolina, a law she believes will encourage young people to vote when they turn 18. She works with MoveOn.org campaigning for a federal voter pre-registration program for teenagers and has been recognized with the Youth Ambassador award from Davidson Young Scholars.
— Maddie (@madisworldofpie) May 6, 2014
I love standing up for things I believe in. — Madison Kimrey
13-year-old indigenous environmental activist and peacemaker
Xiuhtezcatl (“Shoe-Tez-Caht”) Martinez is the co-founder and youth director of Earth Guardians, a group of young people in Colorado fighting climate change. The youth-led organization now has groups on five continents working on local issues affecting their own communities. Martinez has been an environmental activist since he was six.
Change is inevitable. Our movement is on the rise. — Xiuhtezcatl Martinez
Read more about these remarkable young people here.
How are you encouraging the young people in your own life to do their part to change the world?