This month, we had the honor of interviewing six Colorado change-makers, ranging in age from 11 to 17. These kids weren’t deterred by their age or size or lack of resources; they saw a need in the world around them and took a step to help where they could. They support female veterans, raise money through their art, teach other kids about hard-fought life lessons, and trade their free time to care for the trails we love so dearly in Colorado. Each of them had adults in their lives encouraging and supporting their work.
We were also honored to interview former first daughter and bestselling author Chelsea Clinton for her new book, Start Now! You Can Make a Difference. The book explains some of the world’s big challenges—endangered species, hunger, health, and bullying—in a way that young children can understand and shows them, through other kids’ stories, how they, too, can make a difference. In our interview with Clinton, she shares that she and her husband talk with their own two children each time they take a small action, such as recycling. They use the moment to discuss how small changes can create a big impact. It’s a step any of us can take to help children see their own power.
One of the most common questions we hear at this time of year is, “What volunteer opportunities are there for kids under 16?” The kids featured in our article and in Clinton’s book show us that you don’t have to find an organized event to get involved. You can create your own opportunity. As parents, mentors, aunts, uncles, and friends, it’s our job to listen for the cause that speaks to a child’s heart, help them take that first step, and watch what their little hands can do.