Youth

Celebrate the Promise that Comes with New Generations

Gabrielle Stopper, Resource Development Intern. She is a recent graduate of George Washington University.

Today marks World Youth Day and a time to celebrate the promise that
comes with new generations.  Youth bring new ideas, new understanding,
and new methods to achieve what was once thought impossible.  Walking
around Washington DC during the summer, the streets swarming with
interns, it is clear how truly exciting the future will be.  As a woman
in my twenties, having attended college in DC, I have been privileged
to watch and become part of the reproductive health movement, though
this unique city was not what led me there.   My own youthful drive and
need to question during high school fueled my first exposure to the
field. 


I had the opportunity in high school to research abstinence-only sex
education and I became outraged at the information those my age were
expected to believe.  This single handedly insulted my generation’s
intelligence and I decided to take action.  I used my senior thesis and
presentation as a platform to teach those at my high school the truth
about this harmful sex-education program.  This was the first time I
understood the power of youth and I became committed, to creating
change.

As young people, we often wonder what we can do, and assume that we
cannot create change.  This is not true.  PAI’s ten summer interns are
proof of our power. There are so many opportunities to make an impact. 

I know, as a recent college graduate it seems impossible to give
money even to important causes.  I laugh every time my university asks
for a donation. I have only been a graduate for two months, how can I
be expected to give?   The truth is every little bit helps.  During the
past few years, when I had an extra 20 or 25 dollars I chose to give it
to an organization that I strongly believed in.  This often meant not
buying a new shirt or a summer dress but I decided to try to make this
sacrifice.  I have now seen the impact of my giving.  On January 23rd,
when President Obama repealed the Global Gag Rule,
I knew that my small contributions helped organizations fight for years
to end a policy that hurt women around the world.  Organizations like
Population Action International worked tirelessly and were instrumental
in ensuring that when President Obama took office it was at the top of
his agenda. 

We have the opportunity to create change whether it is by giving,
learning, or teaching.  Anyone can contribute to the movement. We truly
are the future.  As the torch is handed off, it is up to us to see how
far we run. 

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