In 2007, myself and a group of students at my high school got together and participated in the J8 Summit Competition in Canada. Although we did not get chosen as the Canadian Junior delegates to attend the Summit in Germany, it was a huge eye-opening experience for us and we planned to participate again the next year. There were so many people interested in tackling global issues in our school that we decided to form a school group. This group consisted of students who were interested in the global issues that J8 dealt with and we called ourselves the MCHS J8 Youth Group. Before we knew it, our first year of helping the world with our own ideas had passed by quickly and the upcoming '07-'08 school year looked full of challenges worth tackling.
A new school year was finally upon us and once again we found ourselves trying to solve climate change problems, health problems, and global issues. We participated in various activities over the next few months, including a beach clean-up of a nearby coastal community in which we received special recognition. Several of our members attended conferences and events open to the public to make our group known and to also further their own education. Before we knew it, the time had come for another J8 Summit Competition. We quickly formulated teams in hopes of being even more prosperous this year than the previous year. Then some of our members had an idea.
Why try to solve global issues when we could start small and solve our own community issues first? We had all heard of the saying “Think globally, act locally”. Ultimately, this was our predicament: we were from a small rural town; we had very little chance of winning a national competition that required cultural and ethnic variety. It was seemingly very unlikely that we would achieve any amount of success writing up a communiqué in which we would not be chosen for. So, instead, we decided to be heard in our local area. We decided to inspire change for the better in our communities. We decided to form a new group: Activists For Change.
As of March 10th, 2008, AFC is now officially our school group for activism. After just the first two meetings, our group grew to 17 members. We focus our community efforts mainly on the environment, and are also looking to become a community rather than a school group. We have done a climate change presentation to a class of grade 5 students at a nearby school, and we hope to continue those presentations at other schools in the near future. Our group has also applied to take care of a small area in our town to help beautify the region. These areas are called “Adopt-a-spot” and various well known businesses and groups manage them. In school, we have already asked our administration to provide recycling bins in every classroom. Now, there is one located next to the garbage bin in each room. Our group also hopes to collect recyclables from all businesses that do not recycle in our community. For Earth Hour on March 29th, the members of Activists for Change came together and participated to conserve energy. We promoted this event in our school to raise awareness and to get as many people as possible to take part as well.
AFC has been successful thus far in our small town and in order to achieve our future endeavours this grant would be greatly appreciated. Our prospects for local change push us forward in a rhythmic percussion of activism, epitomized by our attention to local and global benefit programs and our intent to cease the negatives of our past.