We empower youth as Changemakers by giving them the resources and guidance they need to find their passion and start their own venture.
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Eligibility: Date of Birth
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Ohio: Columbus (43209) 183 N Ardmore Rd
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Date You Started Your Project Started
Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.
Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working towards the next level of expansion)
1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?
The problem is that the world needs more changemakers, and kids need to know that they have a voice and can make a difference. Kids are frequently told that they are too young to make a lasting impact on society. Changemaker Folders give kids (and their families and teachers) an easy template to take a passion from an idea into fruition. It has helpful steps that anyone can follow to help make the world a better place.
2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.
The Changemaker Folder program (CMF) is an opportunity for kids to find their power to change our world. I designed the first CMF in the summer of 2018 to help kids find their power. I hoped that by giving kids resources and guidance, I would be permitting them to find their spark (passion) so they would be better prepared for our ever-changing world. The CMFs come with a set of worksheets and resources, Lead Young Stories, encouraging letters and tips, and sticky-notes and pencils. The worksheets walk the future-changemaker through the journey of becoming a changemaker- starting with discovering their passion and ending with discovering how they can help to inspire others to find their power. They are intended for students from 4th grade and up, but younger children can be successful if they have a caring adult to assist them. I offer the Changemaker Folders up to anyone who would like one, for free, either through a digital copy or an actual folder. That way, we don't need to be bound to a local area. I am hoping Changemaker Folders can span the earth eventually.
3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?
When I was 11 years old, I realized that the resources I benefit from are not the norm for many communities in the Columbus, Ohio area. I was visiting my mom’s school, a school in one of the worst neighborhoods in Columbus, when I saw for the first time that her school library had only three shelves of old, beaten up books. This realization was devastating to me and I knew I need to do something. At first, I did not know if I, a kid, could do anything, but I figured that I had to try, for the kids. So, I started Books For Bedtime and have donated a total of over 95,000 books to kids. This changed my life and allowed me to find my power as a changemaker, but it still wasn't enough. I wanted to share this feeling with other kids my age, so I decided to create a resource to help all kids find their power so the world could be a better place: The Changemaker Folder.
4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”
5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.
Because I am a Changemaker, I have been invited to multiple schools to speak to students about my story of how I became a Changemaker. So, when I now go to a school to talk about Changemaking, I bring my Changemaker Folders. That way, younger students can hear my story and also take home a CMF so that they can create change as well. I always field questions from students, and enjoy supporting them as they begin their own Changemaker journey. One of my favorite groups to work with is called Seeds of Caring. Seeds of Caring is a local organization which is geared toward children from 2 to 12. They and their adults participate in local volunteer activities regularly. I have partnered with them multiple times in the past, and enjoy sharing my CMFs with the youngest future Changemakers!
6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?
Changemaker Folders are unique compared to other programs because they allow for children and their families and teachers to work together to find a way to make a difference. It literally starts by asking questions from that child, and allows the child to take ownership of their idea and dig deeper to find their future path. CMFs are also unique because they are available to anyone who has access to a computer because the CMF can be sent digitally. Last, I enjoy speaking to children, and seeing my excitement for CMFs often makes them just as eager and excited to make the world better.
7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?
So far, Changemaker Folders have been used by teachers at 40 schools and have been handed out and used in more than 15 presentations. Because I give away folders as well as a digital copy free of charge, it is hard to know how far the impact has gone. I do know that every single person who has developed their idea due to the Changemaker Folder has made the world a better place. And, the more people who are following their passions, the better our world can become. That is why it is so important for other youth to see that it is not hard to make a difference in the world. Changemaker Folders can make that difference!
8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?
I want to expand the Changemaker Folder initiative because I have seen what a large impact they’re having on youth already. Once we finish the final contents of the folders, I plan to work with a graphic designer to make the folders more attractive and user-friendly. I want to see the CMFs in every school across the world because Books For Bedtime’s goal is to help kids succeed and in order to truly succeed, they must find their changemaking power. In the future, I would like to expand the CMF program to include continuous mentoring, more resources, and other helpful tools. I also am planning on expanding our #b4bethechange campaign (so that it is more impactful and reaches more people.)
9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?
10. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?
Donations less than $100
Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?
White (for example: German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, French) (6)
How did you hear about this challenge?
Recommended by others
Participated in previous Ashoka challenges
Ashoka page or contact