CHANGE STARTS WITH A PASSION

HELPING STUDENTS MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Life is not a dress rehearsal. Stop practicing what you're going to do and just go do it. --Marilyn Grey

Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot. --D. H. Lawrence

They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. --Carl W. Buechne

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. --Winston Churchill

A passive and ignorant citizenry will never create a sustainable world. --Andrew Gaines

Opportunity does not knock, it presents itself when you beat down the door. --Kyle Chandler

identifying partners

puzzle

Forming partnerships is necessary to build your cause and have the largest impact possible. It is very likely that already existing organizations are working on the same issues as you. Do your research on similar nonprofits; it can be as easy as a quick Google search. Once you find a few groups who share the same interests, don’t be afraid to reach out. Take the initiative and send an introductory email.

 

maMost nonprofits are looking to expand their networks too. The pairing of your age and passion makes you a unique asset. Remember that partnerships can come from unlikely places. Take a holistic approach to your issue by looking at it from as many different perspectives as possible including socially, environmentally and biologically. Be the bridge by engaging with a diverse group of organizations who have the same goals but different perspectives. Be open to other peoples’ approaches and compromise if there is a disagreement. Speak up and don’t let your voice get left behind. Some adults are not used to working with young people on campaigns or projects. It is your job to not only be an advocate for your cause, but also for yourself. Think for yourself and make sure you feel comfortable with every step of the planning process so that you can be proud of the final outcome of your work together. Have a written agreement of what each of your roles will be in this partnership, so that both parties understand what is required of them.

imeAt the beginning of my project, I was focused on how the palm oil industry detrimentally impacts the orangutans. To learn more about the issue, I reached out to experts and nonprofits like “Orangutan Outreach” and “The Center for Biological Diversity”, who work on the ground in Indonesia. After establishing relationships within these organizations and getting involved in their work, I was able to ask them to write letters to Girl Scouts USA about the connection between orangutan extinction and palm oil. But in order to take a well-rounded approach, I wanted to investigate the human rights abuses connected to palm oil production (mass land grabs, slave labor and child labor). I did my research and contacted a partnerships human rights organization called “Cultural Survival” who then wrote a letter to Girl Scouts USA. Lastly, in order to take an environmental approach, I learned about the connection between massive deforestation for palm oil plantations and climate change. Two organizations “Climate Advisers” and “The Union of Concerned Scientists not only wrote letters from an environmental perspective, but they also became long term strategic partners who we have coordinated with for many years.