On activism and the pandemic:

...if the young people in the world want change, they will not stop to try to get it.

“Activism has always been something that is very important to me, whether it’s being involved

in/supporting movements for people of color, the environment, women or the LGBTQ

community. When we first got into quarantine I was a little discouraged because there was so

much going on and I thought that my friends and I wouldn’t be able to help with these

movements, because we couldn’t attend protests or get involved through school. However,

being in quarantine has helped me to figure out how to do the most I can to help. Whenever I

was bored, which has lately been a lot, I tried to look up ways that I could help out, and it turns

out there are so many more resources now. There has More people across the globe can

become part of different movements, regardless of where they live or who they are. Now, you

can do things like attend Zoom calls with people around the world to discuss how to combat

climate change, or call senators to demand justice for people of color; there are so many

opportunities for so many people to explore, that if we weren’t in quarantine, most people

wouldn’t think to look into. I always feel inspired when I do things like this, because the majority

of the time when I am on a Zoom call, it is mostly kids and teens that are my age who are using

their time and resources to do things like this. It makes you realize that being part of a

movement means sticking with it even in times like these, and trying to keep it progressing.

There are more people than you think who want to be part of these movements. So many

movements I have joined have already made so much progress, which shows that if the young

people in the world want change, they will not stop to try to get it.”

--Teen (F / 16 / Chicago, IL)


Become a kinder and more empathetic person.

"Many of us were left with more free time during this pandemic. There was less school-work to

do, no after school activities and even less time hanging out with friends. My mom always said,

“If you are bored, it is because you are boring.” There are simply too many things to be

fascinated by and too many activities to try and master to ever be bored for an extended period

of time. This is a wonderful time to let your curiosity lead you to exploration. Learn to play guitar,

write a book of poems, or anything else you have been putting off because you did not have the

time. I promise you will be a more interesting person for the effort you put forth and also proud

of what you accomplish. Become a kinder and more empathetic person. The world needed

more kindness before the pandemic and certainly needs even more now. If we are going to

make our communities the types of places we can all be proud of, then kindness is going to be a

core ingredient. Despite the challenges of isolation during this time, reach out to those you love

and those in need. Let them know you care and miss them. The superpower of the future may

well be empathy. Connecting with other human beings and understanding what is important to

them will make you a better person and strengthen your community.”

--Paul Waechtler, Principle of New Trier Northfield Campus

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