Youth are not just the future; they are the now. My name is Jeremiah, and I am part of the Think Big Team of Multiplying Good. Like many of you, I have thought a lot about this year and the era in which we live. 2020, in particular, reminds me of our oft-forgotten connection to history. In many ways, this year has been dictated by a disease that frequently draws comparisons to the pandemic that happened a century ago. The most significant wave of civil rights protests, not just in the USA but around the world, in half a century has taken place in the last couple of months. Around the world, we see once in a lifetime insect infestations, environmental degradation, and other calamities.

However, we also see another phenomenon in history awaken again: youth power. In the wake of the Holocaust, it was teenage Anne Frank's memoir that helped convince the world to ensure that "Never Again" happened. It was young Claudette Colvin who first refused to give up her seat on segregated buses. It was Jack Andraka, a Multiplying Good alum, who convinced the world that screening for cancer should be accessible to everyone, and then made it happen. Time after time, young people have spoken up after getting tired of hearing the deafening roar of their society's silence. They have not just been participants in movements; they have led them. Again now, we see young people taking up the mantle for progress.

If the haunting reports of disease, hunger, and destruction are a sobering reminder that history is a story ever-told and told before, then the triumph of young people in showing humanity what is possible, is a reassurance that there are people in the world who will dream, organize, and do. They are reminders that heroes exist among us and in us. Two things I have learned from young changemakers that I want to share in this post. The first is that our greatest strength is not power, but perseverance. This is evident in the narratives of countless Students in Action groups and projects created by young people in the Multiplying Good network. I encourage you to seek those stories, many of them are on the Multiplying Good social media pages. The second is that once we realize that our ability to overcome challenges is the source of our greatest inspiration, progress becomes destiny.

International Youth Day is only a few days away. The United Nations theme for the day is Youth Engagement for Global Action. I can't think of a more appropriate celebration this year. Especially this year, we have seen young people from around the world saying that they are going to be the change of tomorrow, today. To be fair, though, I think young people have an unfair advantage when it comes to peacemaking. Change and betterment take a certain degree of outside the box thinking: an uncanny ideation of the possible, design thinking that is original, and a creative drive to make things happen. All of these are characteristics found in the youth of the world. Maybe that's why we see so many young people around the world coming up with ideas for making the world better—and then doing them. It takes the mad people of today to be crazy enough for a future we cannot yet see. It seems that overwhelmingly, a lot of those people are young.

Multiplying Good is proud to celebrate and help young changemakers. From our innovative Students in Action groups celebrated at our national ceremony, to the Think Big Team, which provides a platform for youth leadership, Multiplying Good is committed to youth engagement and enabling young people to be the change the world needs. Join us in celebrating International Youth Day as we recognize and remember the young people around the world and in our own communities that have helped bring us where we are now and keep on working towards a better future.