Connecting with your teen

Activists are people who see the need for change and devote their time to doing something about it. And, connecting with your teen successful teen activists prove, structural, social, or economic barriers don’t have to stop you from pursuing your passion and creating positive change. When you look at the world around you, what gets you excited?

Causes you to be fearful for the future? Throughout history, individual activists have helped topple empires, liberate the oppressed, and open minds to new ideas. And today, even teens are able to improve their local neighborhoods or build social equality movements through their own efforts. If you share a passion for the same cause as many other activists, you can probably find one or many existing organizations to join. Or, you can set up your own activist organization, whether it be a recycling club at school or an anti-racism group online. One of the best ways to make a difference is to donate your time to support your passion. Reach out to organizations in your community that do work for your cause, and ask how you can help.

For example, if you are interested in supporting animals in need, try volunteering at your local animal shelter or wildlife rescue. Most activist or charitable organizations need resources to do their work. If you can’t afford to donate money to an organization that supports your cause, you may be able to donate other things they need, like clothing or canned food. Be aware that some charities are more reputable than others. Reach out to family and friends. Tell your family and friends about your cause, and invite them to get involved.

If they are interested, share literature about your cause or just talk to them about what you have learned. If you do volunteer work, invite an interested friend or family member to volunteer with you. Promote your cause on social media. You can use social media to keep your friends and followers informed about the causes you support.

Post informative articles, write about what you are doing to stay involved, and invite your friends to attend events or donate to fundraisers for your cause. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram — each of the above is a good place to start. Explain and provide evidence for your perspective. No matter your cause, from nuclear proliferation to gender identity and bathroom choices, you’ll meet plenty of people online with differing views than yours. Some will never be persuaded no matter what evidence you provide, but others may be willing to listen to reasoned, thoughtful explanations. Thanks to the internet, starting a petition no longer has to mean going door to door with a pen and clipboard.

There are numerous websites and social media platforms that house petitions, including change. I, like many kids in this area, developed an appreciation for nature by walking through those woods. Encourage friends and colleagues to share your petition both online and in person. Provide financial support if you can.

It’s easy to donate money online to existing organizations that focus on your cause, although you should always do some research on how such groups spend their money. You can also turn to the internet for crowdfunding options, either by utilizing websites like indiegogo. Before getting involved in a cause, it’s important to be informed about the issues involved. Check out books related to your cause from your school or public library.