Your Voice Matters (YVM22)
We’ve spent a lot of time the past few weeks focusing on young people who spoke at the TEDxTeen conference and have made news on a national, and even worldwide scale. While these are extraordinary teens and their accomplishments are amazing, a common thought is, “Wow, I could never do that!” Your voice may not affect change on a global scale, but it can still matter. Have a look at what 16 year-old Amanda James accomplished in Lake Havasu this past weekend.
According to a report from the Lake Havasu City News-Herald, Amanda has a friend who enjoys skateboarding and with a new city ordinance adopted in 2011 that allowed for skateboarders and scooter riders under the age of 16 to ride on some of the city’s roadways, she feared for her friend’s safety. After seeing information about small grants being offered by Disney (the Disney Friends for Change program), she had the idea to apply for a grant to promote safety awareness to the riders in the area. With the help of her school’s chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters, Amanda submitted the grant application, calling the project “Safe My Ride”.
“I couldn’t sleep one night,” said 16-year-old James, “And I turned on the Disney Channel and saw this grant program to make a difference, and I thought ‘I need to make a difference’.” — from the News-Herald article
A whole event was created around Amanda’s vision and Lake Havasu City’s Mayor proclaimed May 6th to be “Safe My Ride” Day. At least 50 skateboard and scooter enthusiasts attended the event to learn more about riding safety, according to the article.
Amanda had an idea, sparked by a simple desire to have a friend be safe while riding their skateboard. She’s made her voice matter in her community. What small thing can you do to make your voice matter in yours? Start by looking at your friends and family. Can you think of anything that would make their lives better? Your voice can make it happen!