Global Youth Involvement on the Rise

Rima Parikh
October 31, 2013

More than fifty percent of the world’s population is younger than thirty. Isn’t it common sense, then, that these young people be informed and included in endeavors of economic and social change?

Everyone strives to find purpose in their lives, especially young people, for whom days can become the same weary routine of school, work, and extracurricular activities. Unfortunately, not many young people are aware of that they truly do have the power to prompt change.

Even if the change isn't on the global level everyone dreams of, change on the regional and local levels is just as significant. Don’t get me wrong- fighting for an end to world hunger never sounds unappealing, but there are smaller, more practical ways of empowering young people as agents of change.

According to the U.S. Department of State, more than fifty percent of the world’s population is younger than thirty. Isn’t it common sense, then, that these young people be informed and included in endeavors of economic and social change? Although it seems like the practical course of action to take in today’s day and age, it wasn’t always the case. The notion of youth involvement is developing and spreading rapidly.

Emerging young leaders with fresh, new perspectives need - or better yet, deserve - to express their minds. Around the world, U.S. Embassies and consulates are grasping the idea of youth involvement by establishing Youth Councils as a means of partnering with leading youth to address shared challenges. After all, there is no denying that youth are the future.

Students, innovators, civil society members, artists, government representatives and more are applying their entrepreneurial spirit by collaborating to create youth-led responses to concerns in respective communities. There is no doubt that these international young people are leaders.

Just by realizing the potential for change they hold in the realms of their minds and the palms of their hands, these youth are already motivated leaders. They demonstrate that the first step is the longest stride.

Members of today's youth councils drive the development of their own action plans on topics such as youth employment, civic and political engagement, conflict resolution, women’s empowerment, civilian security and education.  More and more aspiring young people are combining their efforts to participate in everyday issues that directly affect them and their community. What better way to emphasize individual independence than encouraging it in a real-life situation? Through youth involvement, young people can truly assess for themselves the success of their ideas and their capacity for independence.

City, state and national partnerships with young people around pressing social, economic and political issues is becoming increasingly important all over the world. These partnerships are advantageous for the youth as well. 

As a young person, there is no better way to feel fulfilled and accomplished than to be the change you want to see in this world. As more and more nations embrace this notion, twenty-first century diplomacy is certainly becoming “more responsive, inclusive, and effective.”


Rima Parikh is currently a senior at Newington High School in Newington, Connecticut. As a new blogger advocating the Campaign for A Presidential Youth Council and a standing representative of the Connecticut First District Congressional Youth Cabinet, Rima strives to encourage youth involvement in policy-making and diplomacy. In her future, Rima plans to study medicine and public health policy reform. 

This blog is part of the youth-curated Campaign for a Presidential Youth Council blog, in partnership with SparkAction. 

 

 

Image: stock.xchg/Eastop

  


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