This is a sponsored post in partnership with T-Mobile, T-Mobile Foundation, and Ashoka. All opinions expressed are my own.
Making a Difference
I think we all want to make a difference. We also want our kids to make a difference, too. I think a lot of times adults may not give kids enough credit in this area. Did you know that around age 12, the brain rewires, and children become young people who are fully ready to be powerful, and to change the world? Kids have great ideas and a real desire to make their communities better!
Take my oldest child, Natalie. She is so big into helping others. She just gets that when you help others do and feel better, it’s just better for everyone. Case in point, Natalie recently went on a mission trip with our church to a town in Massachusetts. It was there what she sent time helping the elderly, boxing meals for the poor, cleaning city streets, and taking the time to watch children who’s parents needed help when they went to work. She loved the program so much, we are working with the pastor on maybe setting up similar programs in our area, too!
My middle son, Liam, recently collected toys and brought them to a soup kitchen/shelter so that some of the less fortunate kids will have more things to play with.
Even my little six year old Caleb seems to get it! We recently donated a bunch of supplies, including tissues, to local schools so that the parents and schoolteachers didn’t have to shoulder the entire burden themselves! He was so excited, he’s looking to do even more over the coming months. He knew he was doing good, and he wanted to do more!
What’s a Changemaker?
All of the great experiences I mentioned above not only build empathy, compassion, and a sense of community for my kids, it also builds their character and shows them the way to being a better person. Using this understanding as a base can only allow for them to do even more as they grow up.
Changemakers are not necessarily born: they are shaped by specific experiences during their childhoods. A changemaker is someone that is a active participant in their community. Changemakers are today’s youth that are constantly challenging the status quo and standing up for what they believe. In so many ways, this is really the only way for today’s young people to strive.
T-Mobile and Ashoka Are Helping To Develop Changemakers
T-Mobile, the T-Mobile Foundation and Ashoka are partnering up once again, this time for the second-annual T-Mobile Changemaker Challenge – a nationwide contest focused on empowering trailblazing youth who have amazing ideas for how to change the world for good.
For more than 20 years, Ashoka, a 501c (3), has supported young social entrepreneurs as they address the world’s biggest challenges. Young people need powerful learning experiences to build empathy, find their purpose, and take the lead, strengthening their skills and transforming their ideas into regional, national and global social impact.
That’s why Ashoka is so pleased to partner with T-Mobile on this fantastic, nationwide contest that’s all about getting the next generation of youth ages 13-23 from across the USA and Puerto Rico ready, willing, and able to create positive change in their communities!
Uniquely Human Skills Will Be Needed
Did you know that, according to the US Department of Labor, 65% of today’s K-12 students will end up at a job that hasn’t been invented yet? That’s hard to understand, really, but it just seems to be the way it’s going to be. Change is coming faster and faster than at any point in human history.
As technology improves, and AI takes over many jobs, changemakers need to step up and…make change. Educators and parents need to offer as much support as they can to our youth. While it’s important for our children to learn concrete skills, we also must nurture those things which make us uniquely human. AI won’t soon be able to emulate that (I think).
According to Ashoka, youth will need to master Empathy, Leadership, and Teamworking skills. So, encourage your children to volunteer, to solve their own problems, and to allow them to make decisions. Maybe the kids can lead family meetings or decide on what’s for dinner. There are so many ways to build these skills that each and every young person can be the changemaker we all need them to be!!
Ashoka believes that parents and mentors play a large role in creating leaders who see themselves as part of the solution It is this that will move their passion into reality, in an ecosystem where everyone can be a positive force for society.
In November, senior leaders from T-Mobile and the T-Mobile Foundation will announce the Top 30 teams – 10 from each of the three categories. Each team will receive seed funding and an all-expenses-paid trip to T-Mobile’s headquarters. They will visit the Changemaker Lab for a three-day immersive experience. The teams will receive mentorship from T-Mobile executives, skills training from Ashoka and network opportunities with other amazing teams.
Two Grand-Prize-Winning teams will be announced during the lab and will win an additional funding. They will also receive a second trip back to T-Mobile HQ– aimed at helping them Supercharge their project!
Find Out More and Enter
As soon as their teenage years, children need to test-out being a changemaker. Don’t you think it’s time for your changemaker to visit t-mobile.com/changemaker for everything you need to know! Find out how to enter – categories, thought starters, important deadlines and more! Submissions close September 26!
Be sure to search and share on social media with hastag #TMoChangemaker as well!! Tomorrow night, 8/21, there will be a really great Twitter Chat from 9pm-10PM ET!!