SEATTLE, Washington — Regardless of the negative stereotypes that are associated with the millennial generation, it is impossible to ignore the progress that some of its members have made. Young activists, like the ones listed below, are constantly inspiring their peers to change the world for the better.
1. Malala Yousafzai
Recognized as one of TIME Magazine’s most influential people in 2013, Malala Yousafzai began advocating for better education for girls under Taliban rule at the age of 11. After recovering from an assassination attempt, she continues on her quest to “see the education of every child.”
Sources: Biography, Borgen Magazine, TIME Magazine,
Photo: Yeshiva University Observer
2. Kyle Weiss
Kyle Weiss and his brother co-founded FUNDaFIELD in 2007. Their method is based on the principle that soccer is therapeutic and can be used to support rehabilitation and recovery in post-conflict and post-trauma regions in the world. They work with local communities to provide soccer fields and equipment and to host soccer tournaments. So far, FUNDaFIELD has built 10 soccer fields throughout Africa.
Sources: Claremont Mckenna, FUNDaFIELD, Parent Dish
Photo: Chicago Bureau
3. Madelyn McGlynn
Madelyn McGlynn and her four sisters founded NETwork Against Malaria in 2007. Their organization raises funds to buy and distribute bed nets in rural areas of Uganda. As a result of their efforts, NETwork Against Malaria has distributed 17,736 bed nets to impoverished individuals, saving the lives of more than 37,000 people.
Sources: Huffington Post 1, NETwork Against Malaria
Photo: Nine Network
4. Ghalib Khalil
Ghalib Khalil chose to create the Rescue Pakistan Youth Foundation after floods in his home countries left millions homeless. He raised almost $100,000 to help rebuild some of the communities that were lost as a result of the flood, and continues to take on more projects with his NGO to help other communities devastated by natural disasters around the world.
Sources: Huffington Post 2, Hoping Pakistan
Photo: Islamabad the Capital
5. Grace Li
As co-founder and CEO of We Care Act, Li focuses on helping youth around the world recover from natural disasters. To date, she has provided assistance to over 14,000 children internationally. She says that her plans for the organization involve getting We Care Act “to expand, and focus not just on disaster relief but also education.”
Sources: Huffington Post 3, Heart of Gold Girls
Photo: Texas Scholar Award
6. Alex Lin
Alex Lin has ensured the recycling of over 300,000 pounds of electronic waste, donated more than 300 computers to local students, successfully lobbied the Rhode Island state legislator to ban the dumping of electronics, and sent computers to establish media centers in developing countries. In the future, Lin claims he hopes to “raise awareness of e-waste in developing countries so that they will be able to create the infrastructure to handle e-waste before it becomes a problem.”
Sources: Changemakers, Take Part, Living on Earth
Photo: Nurturing News
7. Kendall Ciesemier
Kendall Ciesemier was born with a rare liver disease, and as a result has a deep connection with others who experience suffering. After being inspired by an Oprah episode on African AIDS orphans, Ciesemier founded her organization Kids Caring 4 Kids, which seeks to inspire American youth to participate in national fundraising campaigns in order to provide education, food, clean water, shelter, transportation and basic hygiene for children in Africa. Today, she has raised over $940,000 for schools, clinics and housing in sub-Saharan Africa.
Sources: Huffington Post 4, Glamour Magazine
Photo: Her Campus
8. Alec Urbach
Using film to revolutionize education in developing nations, Alex Urbach created a cartoon-animated curriculum for illiterate children to help them learn about math, science and hygiene. Because his films are not language-dependent, they help overcome the literacy divide and allow essential information to reach a larger audience of children. To date, Urbach’s elementary school lessons have served over 240,000 children in Africa, and are expanding into Central and South America this year. Urbach has also created a series of comic books addressing social issues like negative peer pressure, bullying and the importance of clean water.
Sources: Huffington Post 5, From the Ground Up, The National Society of High School Honors
Photo: Nassau Parent
9. Maren Johnson
Maren Johnson has been named the student ambassador for the Global Soap Project by collecting bars of lightly used soap, which are then sent to medically under-served populations in developing countries by aid agencies. After the bars are stockpiled at the Global Soap Project headquarters, they are reprocessed into new bars and sent to those in need. Johnson has collected over 25,000 pounds of used soap, benefiting the lives of thousands of people.
Sources: Generation On, Belmont Vision
10. Valens Ntamushobora
As founder of the Lusa Program, Valens Ntamushobora’s mission is to empower poor young women in Rwanda by offering gainful employment while simultaneously promoting advocacy and leadership skills. LP is based on three agricultural cooperatives of 300 people that provide access to land and assistance in sustainable agriculture.
Sources: Huffington Post 6, Complex City Guide, International Political Forum
Photo: Mint Press News
Feature Photo: Touch of Modern