Youth are a force to be reckoned with. We play an important role in our world today, and the actions we take will make a significant impact on both local and global communities. However, as we will explore in the 2016 WorldLink Reader, youth’s influence has the potential to take a positive or negative form. Thus, this year we will focus on the student-selected theme, “Youth’s Influence on the World: For Better or Worse.”
In order to better understand the complexities of this topic, the WorldLink program welcomed five high school interns this past summer who came from various schools in San Diego and Tijuana. Together, Marthapaola, Elias, Amir, Jiayong and Skylar worked meticulously to research and design the 2016 WorldLink Reader. They worked over a period of nine weeks to collect detailed sources that critically analyze and present different points of view relating to youth’s positive and negative influence on five areas: Social, Economic, Environmental, Policy and Technology.
Ranging from young people’s impact on promoting gender equality to the role they may play through environmental apathy and waste, the sources in the WorldLink Reader will highlight both the immediate and long term effects of young people’s attitudes and behaviors. These case studies are not restricted to one specific area in the world or molded to one type of ideology, but provide a comprehensive look at youth’s growing influence all around the world.
As current fall interns and editors of the 2016 WorldLink Reader, these cases have allowed us to critically think about our own impact and the effects we have on our respective communities. We ask that you too examine these sources critically, realizing the impact that you can have in creating positive change throughout the world. The voices of young people are often ignored or considered insignificant primarily because of their limited experience. This is dangerous because apathy and minimal youth participation can significantly hinder the progress of our world as a whole. However, you will discover that youth can play an integral part in creating a prosperous future. At times, it is the younger generation that can look at a seemingly everlasting global conflict objectively and discover nonviolent and peaceful solutions.
We hope that when submerging yourself in the 2016 WorldLink Reader, you will feel empowered to make a change. Let these stories guide and motivate you in your ambitions. The mere act to work towards some type of positive change shows potential and dedication. Empower yourself to make a positive impact, and work towards empowering the world around you.
You have the potential to make a difference, no matter your age or background. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “If we are to reach real peace in this world […] we shall have to begin with children.”
Ananya Krishnan and Elle Necoechea
WorldLink 2015 Fall Interns