DoSomething.org is the country’s largest non-profit for young people and social change. The organization spearheads a number of national campaigns which are designed for 13-to-25-year olds to ‘do something’ that makes a positive difference and impact – without needing money, an adult or a car.
In 2012, over 2.4 million people took action through DoSomething.org. Currently, the members are ‘kicking ass’ on a number of causes they care about – Bullying, Homelessness, Poverty, Cancer, Clean Air. The list is pretty extensive.
By affirming the power young people have to lead, the group provides easy access, reliable information and activism strategies. They make it easy for young people to decide for themselves what cause they would like to support and which strategies they can use. By respecting the diverse abilities and constraints of youth, they make it easy for young people to make valuable, measurable and positive contributions to social issues.
One recent program in Philadelphia, PA is called ‘The Food Trust/Youth Leadership.’ Currently, in Philadelphia, 1 in 2 youth are overweight or grossly obese. Unless there is help for youth to eat healthy food and stay active this will be the first generation in US history to lead shorter lives than their parents. In response to this epidemic, the program has created a campaign called HYPE (Healthy You. Positive Energy). This is a youth initiative which empowers them to become leaders for healthy change in both their school and community. Fresh, urban, relevant and energized, HYPE has inspired youth in 70 schools ( . . . and counting) to start youth councils to promote the importance of eating healthy and being active among their peers.
To build momentum, HYPE has harnessed the power of the youth voice – artistic, athletic, studious, or former couch potato – to promote the importance of eating fresh, healthy foods – not processed crap – and staying physically active. They have a number of directors, poets, dancers, rappers, and young adults passionate about social change who are spreading the word and supporting this healthy, positive message. By connecting and unifying youth councils and organizations across the city through social media, peer education, social marketing, and city-wide events they hope to inspire healthy, ‘body-moving’ success!
You can find information about the Food Trust/Youth Leadership initiative here:
In addition to the many campaigns and individual programs it sponsors, DoSomething.org has honored the nation’s world-changers, 25 and under with a special annual award since 1996. The award winners for 2012 will be 5 world-changing finalists who are awarded a community grant, media coverage, and continuous support from DoSomething.org. The grand prize-winner of the $100,000.00 prize will be broadcast on VH1 during the award ceremonies. Watch for it! Engaging the youth of today means promoting a healthier, more positive tomorrow for all of us.