In my last post, I introduced #BULEADS – the day-long conference exploring creativity and innovation in today’s society, as well as ways to inspire it in others. Ronnie Cho, the former White House Liason to Young Americans, took the stage first, setting a positive tone with his speech for the day. He addressed topics like:
- student loans
- gun laws
- marriage equality
The topic that stuck with me the most was the concern and common perception young people have that they are powerless, that their voices don’t matter, and that their opinions are not significant enough to make a change.
Cho used to possess thoughts like these in his youth and eloquently explained that his curiosity and stubborn nature is what landed him in his position today.
“I volunteered, I showed up, and I never left,” he explained. A great piece of advice.
He used an interesting statistic that “half of the world’s population is below 30 years old,” to explain that our generation of young people are ultimately shaping the future and can steer it in any direction it wants.
“We can’t look to Washington to solve all the problems,” Cho said. He had a point.
We are an integral part of the decision-making, and many political decisions require the support of the people.
He furthers, “We can’t make decisions for us, without us.” The decisions of young people are important, if not the most important. If we see something we don’t like or something we’d like to change, it is a fault of ours to sit back and criticize instead of acting and pursuing change.
A student attendee in the audience posed the first question to Cho: “How do we work as activists under a system that stifles our voices?”
Cho answers, “Show them that they ignore us at their own peril.” I hope that, as a society of young people, we can aim to do just that.
Speak up. Start a revolution.
Stay tuned for the next installment of the #BULEADS series!
Julia Heavey is a native New Jerseyan and student at Boston University pursuing a degree in Advertising. She works at BU’s Student Activities Office as an Activities Consultant and is a member of Programming Team, where she enjoys bringing up-and-coming artists and comedians to campus to evoke school spirit from the student body.
Follow her on Twitter @juliaheavey