THE BLOG
03/17/2014 05:32 pm ET | Updated May 17, 2014

Why Young People Are the Most Powerful Change Makers

I remember well what it was like to be young and fearless. Even before I became a law student, I hoped to a create positive impact and give back to a community that had offered me much.

I love the passion that young people have when it comes to their futures. I have met many bright kids and young adults who possess the poise, intelligence, creativity, and courage necessary to take action. Young people are our most powerful agents of change, and I am encouraged by the future they are building for themselves and generations to come.

Take the story of Jessica Markowitz. By age 11, Jessica was already a change maker inspired by the story of a Rwandan human rights activist named Richard, who stayed with Jessica's family for a year.

In this StoryCorps story, Jessica talks about why meeting Richard was so meaningful. Jessica's mom also proudly shares how her greatest wish -- to raise a compassionate, socially-active young person -- is coming to fruition. Jessica and her mom recorded their story at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center through StoryCorps, a national project intended to instruct and inspire people to record their narratives. Our StoryCorps project at the Visitor Center has captured the stories of people who were inspired to give back because of another individual or an experience.

We need young people. We depend on their ideas and leadership in making a better world. I encourage you to listen to Jessica's story below and inspire your children to learn about the globe, and how they can take action to make it a better place.

Follow the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center on Facebook: www.facebook.com/GatesVC

StoryCorps is a national project intended to instruct and inspire people to record their stories in sound. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center partnered with StoryCorps to capture the stories of people who have been inspired to give back to their community.

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