What Does It Mean to Choose2Matter?

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For several months now, I’ve been writing posts about the potential of today’s young people to change the world, particularly with guidance from today’s business leaders.

I’ve introduced you to some young people who have made a big splash with their efforts to solve real problems facing the world.

Now, I want to share with you some of the moments we’ve witnessed in just two visits to schools at which I challenged students to think about problems that break their hearts and to come up with a plan to fix these problems.

These visits occurred within the past three months, and these students are well on their way to implementing their solutions.

These students provide profound answers to the question: What does it mean to Choose2Matter?

  • When a young girl who has endured multiple hospitalizations explains that she will help hospitalized children explore their passions, because sick children don’t need more balloons, or t-shirts made in their honor, or money raised for them, they need to find and nurture their passion – that is what it means to Choose2Matter.
  • When the first day of school brings with it 75 notes of encouragement FROM students TO teachers – that is what it means to Choose2Matter.
  • When a young boy declares to the world that he wants to help children with cancer learn to cope – and then tells his classmates, for the first time, that he is a child with cancer – that is what it means to Choose2Matter.
  • When an auditorium full of 8th graders, who collectively convey alienation and disaffection, cheer thunderously the encouraging and challenging words of General John Michel of the US Air Force, spoken via video conference from Afghanistan – that is what it means to Choose2Matter.
  • When a young girl proudly shares, in a message on Twitter, that her team’s cause has created a Twitter account and is developing a website and that “for once, us kids aren’t being told ‘NO’” – that is what it means to Choose2Matter.
  • When two young women who have been personally impacted by suicide vow to help people understand suicide, and teach schools how to deal with it when it happens – that is what it means to Choose2Matter.
  • When a young girl describes, in a message on Twitter, the joy of talking about her day in school to her parents and the beaming look on their faces – that is what it means to Choose2Matter.
  • When a struggling 15yo girl becomes a “defender” of a movement and publicly tells her superintendent that this movement is exactly what her school needs, and that she had seen classmates step further out of their comfort zone than she ever imagined possible – that is what it means to Choose2Matter.
  • When a young woman plans to be absent for the final two days of the school year to recover from oral surgery, and yet shows up on the final day with an ice pack on her face because she heard her friends were learning to change the world – that is what it means to Choose2Matter.
  • When teens are asked, 90 minutes after summer break began, to create a video explaining their reactions to our visit, and they create and deliver a masterful video the same day – that is what it means to Choose2Matter.
  • When a group of teen girls, thankful that two of their parents received emergency care when needed, decide to develop a bicycle-based EMS in lesser-developed countries – that is what it means to Choose2Matter. These young ladies will present their ambitions to a room full of the world’s leading innovators at the Business Innovation Factory Summit #9 this month.
  • When an 11yo girl from Tennessee decides to dedicate her life to meeting the needs of orphans in Uganda – that is what it means to Choose2Matter. (Please make a small donation to help us get Mallory to the Bammy Awards, where she will be the first student recipient of a Bammy for her remarkable efforts).

We plan to visit 8-10 more schools during this school year, and we can’t wait to share with you more vivid examples of what it means to Choose2Matter.

Next year, with your help, we will scale this movement to thousands of schools worldwide. These are our future leaders.

Image credit- aleksander1 / 123RF

My life path has always been about teaching and communication. My twenty years as an educator and my passionate pursuit of literacy and learning, gave me the healthy dose of courage and skills that have led me through a wonderful variety of experiences, including classroom and University teaching, instructional coaching, research, writing, publishing, corporate training, and starting my own business.

  • http://www.frymonkeys.com Alan Kay

    Angela, I love what you are doing with Choose2Matter. When I was a young man many conversations and written pieces ignored the contribution women make. Thankfully we have moved beyond that. Can I presume that your piece applies equally to boys and girls?

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  • http://www.angelamaiers.com AngelaMaiers

    Hi Alan,

    Great observation and questions. It absolutely applies equally to boys, girls, grown ups and kids. There have been so many projects submitted, I did not even realize that these stories were only girls: http://choose2matter.org/quests-submitted-to-the-quest2matter

    There is genius in each one of us; we have an individual and collective responsibility to actively liberate it. The mission of Choose2Matter.org and Switch and Shift at its core!

    Will do better of highlighting the genius more evenly–thanks for keeping me on top of things!

    Angela

  • http://www.frymonkeys.com Alan Kay

    Thank you Angela, We’ve missed a lot opportunities in education by focusing on the negative side of the gender issue. One of the things I
    like about Choose2Matter is that it builds on the opportunity to leverage the diversity that helps young (and old) people fulfill their potential to change the world. Viewing gender diversity as an opportunity for young people to solve their problems (instead of playing victim to them) will move us away from the old hierarchical contest to prove who’s right and who’s wrong, i.e., the winners and losers model. Now that I’ve got that off my chest, I’m greatly looking forward to reading more about continued progress with Choose2Matter.

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