Dear Teens, You Rock!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, and again and again and again — teens get a bad rap into today’s society. We constantly hear about spoiled, lazy, entitled teens but no one ever talks about the fact that many teens today help to economically support their families. That many teens to go school, then are expected to keep a job and then get criticized for not keeping their grades up when there’s no time to do homework between family responsibilities, classes and work, not to mention trying to fit a little bit of being social in there.

I’m tired of the negativity so starting today, I’m going to post about some amazing teens and the amazing things they do.

The first teen I’m celebrating is one we’re all familiar with:¬†Malala Yousafzai. ¬†Yes, she’s the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize. She’s articulate, intelligent, inspiring and a hundred other amazing things, and she’s seventeen!

On Jon Stewart last week, she talked about her younger brothers and how their relationship is pretty much like any seventeen year old girl with two little brothers. She talked about taking exams for school, and she talked about speaking up when something isn’t right.

For Malala, the issue is education and making certain that every child has the opportunity to learn.

Before this, Jon Stewart was talking about the tragic murder of nine people in a church in South Carolina and about his certainty that, sadly, nothing is going to change in our nation to address the issues of race and violence. Then, he spoke with Malala, and there was hope. If a teenage girl can stand up against the Taliban and against a world of beings who believe that only the privileged deserve to learn about the wonders of the world and the universe, then what can we do — each of us. We all have a voice, and across the globe, Malala is helping inspire people to use theirs.

What will you use your voice for?

You don’t have to try to solve world problems; you just have to remember that you have a voice and that you matter.