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Committed to Positive Change


During his lifetime, Martin Luther King, Jr. was committed to the idea that young people could create a more just and equal society by coming together, participating in the democratic system, and collaborating with individuals and entities in our government.

Click on the figures below to see real stories from youth who have acted as change agents to improve the lives of people across the United States.

Charles Orgbon

One really wise person once said that when we begin paying closer attention to the world around us, we are destined to find a problem. Two years ago, I began paying closer attention to the world around me, and I certainly found an issue — litter. My school campus was full of improperly discarded plastics, packaging, and cans. No one would ever imagine that this mess would inspire me as much as it did.

Ideally, I hope that our movement will be recognized for helping to change the culture of our society. As young people, our voice needs to be heard. It needs to serve as an authentic voice in the decision-making process. Often times adults point fingers at the younger generations, when all we are asking for is to be heard and recognized for more than just citizens of the future, but citizens of today.

I challenge you: go out into your community and find the issues, bring light to them and let your voice be heard. No matter who you are and where you have come from, you can make your mark on the world.

Click here to learn more about my story.

— Charles Orgbon

Jacob Bernstein

I remember when I first wanted to get started volunteering. Back then, there were very few organizations that were willing to take on youth volunteers and very few resources to help guide me. I felt frustration and disappointment. That’s what led me to develop St. Louis Volunteen along with my sister. Now, the website helps connect young people with tons of volunteer opportunities.

I feel satisfaction in finding ways to improve the website, grow the volunteer fair, and utilize social networking as an effective tool to post volunteer opportunities.

Planning a volunteer event or partnering with a nonprofit is well within the reach of any high school student. The key is to find an interest or cause that ignites your passion and strive to make a difference.

Click here to learn more about my story.

— Jacob Bernstein

Maryam Farooq

My name is Maryam Farooq and I am an eighth grade student at Middle School 172 in New York. I work with a group called No Place for Hate, which is sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League. Our goal is to make sure students are not afraid to come to school because of bullying and bring positive change.

Our group is very active and we do a wide array of things. Our very first activity was an assembly and we were shocked at the feedback. So we continued and made more activities.

When we all work together, we can make our schools a better place. So if one person can make a difference, imagine the difference we can all make together.

Click here to learn more about my story.

— Maryam Farooq

My Notebook

Project-Based Learning

The Notebook is a useful way to jot down notes as you go through the various topics available on the You For Youth website. If you'd like to use the notebook, please sign in if you already have an account or register now to join the Y4Y community!


Project-Based Learning