In our own small way, we can all help to get children into school

Recently I had the opportunity to engage with student leaders of Medger Evers College on the issue of education and youth involment in community development.

Founded in 1970, as part of the City University of New York, Medger Evers has a undergraduate student population of 7156, predominantly African-American students.  

On my way to the meeting with the student leaders, as I walked down the hallway, I overheard two young ladies – presumably in their 20s – talking about the responsibility they hold to their community.

It wasn’t necessarily something big but it got me thinking. I liked their definition of responsibility and if we could all believe in that simple notion that we owe a responsibility to our community, we might not solve every problem but we can get something meaningful done.  

The meeting, which comprised student leaders representing different class years, was full of energy and enthusiasm as I conveyed my message about the millions of children who are out of school.

I emphasised that we are getting education in a moment when the world is more complex and interconnected than ever and thus we have to step away from the notion that is all “about me” and focus on how we can tap into our individual zone to bring about change.

In a highly-educated modern world, opportunities for the unprivileged are increasingly decreasing, especially for children in poor areas who are being excluded from the equation.

To that end, I further emphasised that it is us, the youth, who can reverse this trend and give every child the chance to get a decent formal education.  

This message was highly embraced. The young leaders expressed their support for the #UpForSchool campaign, signed the petition and provided venues to share the petition with their fellow students, which is currently circulating around campus.

Seeing their fresh motivation and capabilities, I became deeply convinced that change is around the corner and it will come, slowly.