United States Youth Council
Introducing the US Youth Advisory Council! We are a group of passionate students and young changemakers who want to collaborate with others in our generation to create meaningful change on emerging social issues and opportunities for improving our world . Using our knowledge from starting our own social ventures and community-building, we hope to empower everyday heroes and changemakers and amplify positive impact for communities across the country.
Goals: We aim to activate changemakers across the country by introducing projects, calls to action, and campaigns tailored to relevant social issues. The Council will serve as a:
- Internal support network: The Council will pool the creative capital within the group and support one another’s efforts towards changemaking, launching social ventures and building youth-led social change.
- Collaborative space for activating a nations of changemakers: The council is a space to co-create with changemakers across the country youth-led social messages and youth led campaigns for building an ‘Everyone A Changemaker’ nation.
- Advisory to Ashoka’s Youth Venture and Global Leadership: The council will act as an advisory team to Ashoka’s Youth Venture and Ashoka’s Global Leadership, to ensure young people have a voice in how to build an ‘Everyone A Changemaker’ world that meets the needs and remains relevant to young people.
- Responsive voice and mobilizer: The council will act quickly and effectively to emerging social issues that impact young people. But we cannot do it alone, we need YOU, your school and your networks!
Plan of Action:
Issues of race-based violence have flooded our newspapers for the last 12 months. Young people are at the center of the race relations movement and we believe they can have a significant role in taking steps to change the current racial climate.
Our first campaign for the next 6 months is the launch of a classroom guide and complementary calls to action for students and teachers to increase spaces for empathy, problem-solving and dialogue in classrooms regarding racism, discrimination and bullying.Future campaigns include the environment, energy, education, poverty, empowerment, violence, empathy and tolerance. To help us craft well-informed ideas, we will be engaging with Ashoka Fellows from across the country who are leading national change movements.
We will also be partipciating in several global events and will use these as opportunities to hear from YOUth and our peers on what social issues matter to them and what they need from us, parents, educators and the community to help them in their changemaker journeys.
This is YOUR council....from young people...by young people who are dreamers and disrupters and designers for social good, and a better world. We are excited to work with YOU! Let's get to work!
Yours in changemaking,
Amit, Daniella and Shubham
Actions, News, Updates:
*MORE COMING SOON. STAY TUNED!
June 2016: Amit shares his reaction to the Orlando tragedy and also offers some actions we can take to practice #SoulForce and empathy. Read on Medium here.
March 2016: Amit reveals a powerful message on why narrative and storytelling matters for human connectivity, empathy and changemaking. Read on Medium here.
January 2016: Daniella shares how her parents supported her #changemaker journey for building social impact:"My mother told me, 'You must be willing to fail at something if you really believe in it.'" Read more and share: bit.ly/206jSO8 #AshokaYCouncil
January 2016: Shubham, student founder of @braigolabs shares how he is building a team of teams for youth #changemaking with #AshokaYCouncil: bit.ly/1QY6RFV
Meet the US Council Members:
Daniella Cohen is a senior at Highland Park High School in Illinois and is passionate about empathy and education. She is the co-founder of GIVE, a project that funds and installs internet, films educational peer to peer videos, and sends computers, letters, and flip flops signed with messages of hope to schools in India, Uganda and Rwanda. Daniella has spoken at TEDxRedmond, the Harvard College Social Innovation Collaborative, and Northwestern University’s “Opportunities for the Future” conference. She has led Ashoka’s Youth Venture workshops at George Washington University and Marquette University. Daniella has received several awards including the Princeton Prize in Race Relations, Build-A-Bear’s Huggable Hero, and the Prudential Spirit of Community Award.
Amit Dodani is a first-year at the University of North Carolina majoring in Business & Political Science and a strong believer in the power of human narratives. He is the founder of My Name My Story, an organization inspiring empathy in changemakers throughout youth communities. MNMS has worked with many schools across the country on creating cultures of empathy including partnering with organizations like Ashoka U and Teach For America. Additionally, Amit acts as storyteller through speaking engagements at high schools and universities across the country - from Texas Lutheran to Duke University. For his efforts, Amit has been recognized by the Jefferson Foundation, Ashoka, and recently was named a Peace First Fellow.
Shubham Banerjee is a 13 year old Evangelist and Founder of Braigo Labs Inc. and the inventor of Braigo. He used Lego to create a low-cost Braille printer that he designed over long evenings at his family’s kitchen table in Santa Clara, an hour south of San Francisco. The idea is to print Braille reading materials from a personal computer or electronic device on to paper using raised dots instead of ink. Braigo Labs has received an undisclosed investment amount from Intel Capital and Shubham is considered the youngest entrepreneur to receive venture capital. Shubham is regularly featured in International and National Media including CNN, NBC, ABC, PBS, NPR, CBC, BBC, Discovery, amongst others. He has had thousands of articles written about him in major publications and he holds several awards for innovation from (to name a few): The White House, US News, Popular Science, Trusted News and more.
The current US Youth Council, composed of three young people from across the country, will work with Ashoka’s leaders--as well as Ashoka Fellowsfrom the world of social entrepreneurship-- to find the best ways to implement youth-led programs and campaigns for changemaking in schools and communities across the country. Read more in the overiew, here.
As the Youth Council is in its early stages of development, Ashoka's Youth Venture are piloting a regional Council in the United States, with plans for expansion to co-create Councils in East Africa, Southern Africa and Latin America regions. Geographic representation and diversity are an important pillar for the Council's mandate.