Youth Voices, Storytellers and Changemakers

Submitted on Thu, July 23, 2015

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Changemakers boldly create solutions where most might only see problems and limitations. This is no easy task, yet every day young changemakers are answering the call for bringing about social change in their schools, homes and communities. But building a social venture, by itself, may not be enough to transform a project from an idea to an actual movement that is funded by allies and adopted by people in a target community.

To change mindsets and behaviors around a particular social issue requires storytelling and communications content to illustrate-- for allies and community members-- the cause, the solution and the urgent reasons for taking action. This is just one reason why Youth Venture draws increasing attention to the power of storytelling and communications as crucial skills for any young changemaker to have, especially in the digital age we are living.

Partnering to advance creative changemakers

Since 2014, Adobe Youth Voices and Ashoka’s Youth Venture have partnered to support young people to become creative changemakers and storytellers. Youth are using digital media in innovative ways to shape perspectives, shift minds and drive positive change in their communities.

For this year’s Adobe Youth Voices video competition, Youth Venture and Adobe Youth Voices created a special 'Social Venture' category showcasing youth videos addressing a social issue they are passionate about, and also explaining how they are driving change in their local communities.

We had 10 finalists creating alternatives for advancing people and planet. The video projects are not million- dollar 'Hollywood' productions. These creative and ambitious projects were made with limited resources in difficult environments. As young changemakers, having limited resources did not affect their creative output and ability to build support for social change.

With a little technology, some friends and a powerful story, you too can make your own creative video for changemaking in your community.

Youth Storytellers and Changemakers

First Prize: Mayeli  Vivanco from Lima Peru

Venture:  Reto Verde

Mayeli is 14 years old and lives in the human settlement Villa Alejandro in Peru. Her eco-business venture group, ‘Reto Verde’, uses recyclable materials to create products and an income generating model to be sustainable. Her group trains the community to educate children and youth to protect the environment. Not only has Mayeli produced this educational video about Reto Verde and the impact that environmental entrepreneurship can have on her community, but her team also made a music video and song to deliver their message in a new and creative way. “In this video, we demonstrate the importance of motivating the audience to create new products with recyclable materials. We all need to do our part to conserve and help the environment,” Mayeli says. WATCH! 


H20 project Adobe Youth Voices

Second Prize: Kevin Kessel

Venture: Club H2O

Kevin Kassel founded Club H2O his sophomore year of high school and it has been a big part of his life since then. His venture distributes water filters in communities that don’t have access to clean water. With this filter, Club H2O help prevent some of the most common stomach illnesses. As a current sophomore at USC, he was selected as one of the winners of the USC Ashoka Changemaker's Social Innovation Competition. WATCH!

You can watch all the other youth-produced videos for changemaking, here!

Prizes for the Youth Voices Video Competition include Samsung Galaxy tablets for all winners and schools mentors, licenses for Adobe Creative Cloud programs and seed grants for the youth-led projects.

Background on the partnership 

The Adobe Youth Voices Awards is a global, online competition that encourages youth to creatively expresses their vision for driving positive change in local communities. Youth Voices (AYV) ignites young people’s Creative Confidence—the ability to har­ness creative skills to solve problems—using digital media tools to show what they think of the world.

Ashoka’s Youth Venture works to build an ecosystem that values and supports young people to effect social change by mastering the skills of empathy, team work, new leadership and changemaking.

Together, AYV and Youth Venture are empowering youth all across the globe to identify their passions, find their voice and take action to solve challenging issues in their communities. Contact Youth Venture today, if your organization or company want to join the changemaker movement.