Youth Leadership

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By Sally Lew, Jubilee Board Member

How wonderful it is that no one need wait a single moment to start improving the world. – Anne Frank, age 14.

Recently, I was introduced to a wonderful youth leadership program – YouthGive, a nonprofit organization that is building a community of giving created and guided by young people. The YouthGive idea is a simple one, guided by the clarity of an eight-year-old. Philanthropy is not just for grown-ups, celebrities and billionaires. Kids/youth have imaginative spirits and want to help others. Young people need tools to cultivate and tap the giving gene we all share. The Internet shrinks the world, creating new and powerful opportunities for local and global connection. A true start to improving the world … no one is too young, no one needs to wait. [YouthGive-The New Currency of Change]

As adults in leadership roles, we must promote the character and competence of all young people growing up in today’s world to improve it. It is our moral inheritance to support youth to stay the course of challenging times – and these times are the most challenging ever. We must provide the right encouragement to develop youth leadership. Some of our young people are born to move and shake the world – they are blessed with high energy, exceptional intelligence, extreme persistence, self-confidence and the ability to positively influence others. But not all youth are able to use their gifts in the face of adversity. These youth need a little help to start improving the world – they need skills for their toolboxes.

So, what can be done to start improving the world? What tools can we provide? We can support organizations such as Jubilee Consortium (and others) to provide youth programs that are alternatives to violence, violence that so many of our young people face today. Jubilee Consortium offers “Keep It Real,” a boxing program that prevents and reduces violence among its youth participants. This program fosters understanding and respect across ethnic, linguistic and gender lines as it develops youth leadership skills. The youth meet at various Jubilee sites on weekday afternoons and early evenings with activities that focus around boxing training and practice, with health and fitness education, anger management training, and leadership development woven into each session.

And in this way, with programs such as “Keep It Real,” our youth are part of the solution and not part of the problem. They are able to improve the world – their world – through the new currency of change. Do something today to be part of solution! Support Jubilee Consortium.


– May 13, 2009