Bring on Banking on Youth!

Social change isn’t rocket science; it’s just a matter of gumption and drive. Policy-makers, think-tanks, and academics aren’t the only ones with the power and ideas to change the world. Changemaking can belong to all of us.

And nowhere is this dynamic potential more evident than among the emerging generation of changemakers—the world’s youth. Ashoka’s Youth Venture believes in the transformative potential of teens and adolescents nationwide, and their remarkable, game-changing ideas.

Take California-based Paul and Kevin, two young men from inner-city Oakland who are hungry for food justice in their community. In a small, apartment-balcony potted garden, they plant and cultivate fruits and vegetables to sell at a local weekly farmers’ market.

They’re connecting with the soil, nourishing neighborhood residents, and providing a platform for talking about food security and sustainability with receptive community members. Feeding others not only results in a great meal; it yields extraordinary impact.

To tap into the wellspring of social change by young people like Paul and Kevin across the United States, Youth Venture is collaborating with the Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) and banks from all across the country to launch a new competition: Banking on Youth

This is an incredible opportunity for young people between the ages of 13 and 20, who can submit an original 60- to 90-second video showcasing their ideas for sustainable ventures that directly benefit society. Contestants can win more than $100,000 in cash and in-kind prizes as “seed” money to grow and nourish their social-change projects.

Your video submissions will be accepted beginning today until June 10. How can you intelligently and entertainingly tell the tale of being the change you wish to see in the world? Prizes include 49 regional $1,000 awards, six venture teams winning all-expense paid trips to this July’s Annual Global Youth Venture Summit in Washington, D.C, a $5,000 Audience Choice Award, and a $15,000 Grand Prize.

Check out Paul and Kevin’s incredible video below to get your creative juices flowing, or dive right in to learn more about Banking on Youth and submit here.

This article was originally published on May 8, 2012
Related TopicsChildren & Youth, Youth leadership, Development & Prosperity, Food security, Health & Fitness, Nutrition, Youth in Charge

Abigail Wick
Abigail Wick is a Change InSight contributor for Ashoka.

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