Despite differences in culture and location, many of today’s youth have similar goals. They want to speak up about the issues that bother them, they want to be heard, they want to make changes.
Yesterday, as the guest speaker for a video conference hosted by The Tony Blair Faith Foundation, Mary Beth got to speak with some amazing students from Brighton High School in Utah, Chief Sealth International High School in Washington and Tec de Monterrey Campus Morelia in Mexico, who found inspiration in their similarities.
“It’s nice to see that even though we all live apart, we all gotta deal with the same problems,” said Brad, a student from Washington. “And I feel like as a community, if we all combine our forces, we can actually make a difference, and I think that’d be the best thing to do because we’re all young people, we’re all inspired, we all want to make a difference.”
The students heard Mary Beth’s story and talked about the issues and inequalities they want to stand up against. The issues ranged from division among faith groups to bullying to the murdering of journalists who try to tell the truth in Mexico.
They also shared their inspirations and motivations for working hard and speaking up.
Mikhail, a student in Washington, said he was inspired by a trip he took to Guatemala through an organization called Global Visionaries.
“Actually going to Guatemala and seeing the injustice and oppression that happens there – more extreme than in the US – kind of pushed me to teach others and actually show others what is happening and what they can do to change it,” he said.
Hearing stories and insights from the other students and from Mary Beth also inspired some of the participants to take action.
“I feel really inspired to go out and do something and not get embarrassed or quit because my friends or parents don’t agree with me,” said Tara, a student in Utah.
Ruth, a student in Mexico, said she wants to help others learn about their rights.
“I was thinking during this conference that human rights or civil rights are what honors our dignity, so it’s very important that we work together to defend them in our communities,” she said. “We have to first make people know their rights so they can defend them with their hearts.”
Be sure to check out the video above to hear more of the inspirations and insights these amazing young people shared!