Belinda is a 16- year-old from Toronto, ON. She enjoys fashion, writing, and her favorite subject is Drama because she loves creating skits.
As teens, we often get the short end of the stick. Adults always seem to think that we’re careless and irresponsible; that our lives revolve around each other or the newest pop stars. What a lot of people don’t realize about teens is that we see the world just like everyone else. We see the hunger, the poverty, the violence; if anything, we see it more clearly. The world today is affecting teens more now than ever before. There are a lot of teens out there who want to do something about these issues and have. They’ve succeeded in their mission and are still fighting strong to change the world we live in for the better.
Craig Kielburger was only 12-years old when he decided to make a change. Craig started his mission after reading an article in his local newspaper about a boy named Igbal Masih. Igbal was sold into slavery as a child, where he worked 12 hours a day, six days a week, making carpets. Unlike thousands of others, Igbal managed to escape. With his newfound freedom, Igbal began speaking out about children’s rights. Unfortunately, Iqbal was shot and killed. Iqbal risked and lost his life for defending the rights of children just like him. As soon as Craig read this article he was inspired to make a difference. He was inspired to help. He gathered a small group of friends and decided they had to do something. That small group of friends has now become Free The Children, the world’s largest network of children helping children through education. The organization reaches more than 45 countries and involves more than one million young people.
“Today, Free The Children is a children’s charity unlike any other in the world. It is an organization funded and driven by the energy of young leaders and adult supporters. In a cooperative effort, we are changing the world.” (freethechildren.com)
Another teen making a difference is Dallas Jessup. As a 13 year old black belt martial artist, Dallas learned that 1 in 4 girls will be sexually assaulted and that there are 114,000 attempted abductions each year in the United States. She decided to make a video to teach her schoolmates some self-defence tips. The word spread like wild fire that a young girl was putting together such an significant and much needed film and in two months Dallas had a volunteer professional crew of 30, 100 volunteer extras, celebrity cameos by Josh Holloway and Evangeline Lilly, and $600,000 in donated resources. All of this led to the creation of “Just Yell Fire”. It’s a film about inspiring people to fight back by giving them the skills to. In just two years the film had up to one million downloads! Her video is now being spread world-wide. On average, Dallas travels 10,000 miles a month speaking to all kinds of people. She even spent 2 weeks in India speaking at colleges on how to avoid slave traders for the sex trafficking industry. Dallas has made a big difference based on what she knows. She used her talents, and has reached over a million people. That definitely sounds like a teen making a difference.
Each and every one of us has the chance and the right to make a difference. We are called to stand up for something. I think we all have a little Craig or Dallas in us. Hopefully we can all be inspired by this article, like Craig Kielburger was inspired by the article about Igbal Masih. To all those teens out there already making a difference (even if it is a small one), kudos to you. For those who haven’t yet found something they’re inspired to fight for, I encourage you to because this is the world we live in. We have the power to make a difference. So recycle, stand up for someone on the playground, or walk for cancer: be a teen saving the world.
Superman. Batman. Spiderman. They’ve got nothing on us. Watch out world, we’re teens and we are making a difference.