Young generations are not only the future, but the present.
A couple of years ago, I stood in awe in the middle of my campus watching Emma Gonzales make her “We call BS” speech from my phone in the wake of the Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting, in Parkland, Florida in 2018. For me, it was a pivotal moment of understanding not only the power of her words and the way she was giving momentum to the fight for gun control, but also that if you truly want something done right, you better do it yourself. I don’t think the message would have resonated as it did beyond the national borders of the US, without such a powerful speaker and advocate.
Like Emma Gonzales, a lot of people from this new and young generations have experienced events that they are realising they should not be experiencing. Situations that have become sort of a norm over the past decades (or centuries), they have started to look at these issues critically and have realised they are not in fact the natural order of things and should be challenged and changed.
Thinking about Emma Gonzales and many other youth activists, like Greta Thunberg, Yara Shahidi and Marley Diaz, the phrase “Children and youth are the future” starts to become more credible than ever. It is true the young generations are the future, but they are also the present. They have realized that they inherited a world that needs a lot of work to do and to ensure a sustainable and fair future on different horizons, like gender equality, environmental causes and animal rights, for example, then the best course of action is to start being part of the change. It’s not like they need approval or permission to start making the world better for all.
Thankfully nowadays they count with many tools to help their message reach further and further. Thanks to social media and the internet, I could connect with the ideology Emma Gonzales was preaching, for instance. There is no denying the power these tools have when it comes to communication, they help us create opportunities for advocacy and change or highlight other spaces that are created for that purpose.
Here at the World Literacy Foundation, we believe in the change youth can bring around, which is why we have created a space for you to start changing the world and building a better society: the WLF Ambassador Program is a global program that hopes to encourage individuals to take a stance against illiteracy in the world. After all, at the root of any positive change lies a better access to education that will help people develop good literacy skills.
For five months you will learn more on literacy and education and polish your leadership and advocacy skills, while interacting with like-minded people in a global community. All you need to do is make a 30-second video introducing yourself and telling us why you want to become a WLF Ambassador. The link to submit your video is available now until April 2, 2021. Please visit worldliteracyfoundation.org/ambassador/
We hope to see you there. Remember it’s never too early to start changing the world!