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The Weekender: FTK - The Power of Youth from Fighting Cancer to Climate Change

February 16, 2019

Dancing in the stadium and marching in the streets. Young people are a force for change.

 

This is THON weekend when thousands of Penn State students will carry on the tradition of serving children and their families and raising millions to support them and cancer research.  The largest student-run philanthropic event in the world will add to the over $160 million raised to date. An astounding number.

 

Meanwhile, thousands of young people around the world are even skipping school to protest inaction on climate change. And one young girl from Sweden has been speaking to the world's most powerful political and business leaders.

Much of this was inspired by Greta Thunberg, a Swedish student, who saw students in the U.S. not going to school to protest gun violence. A friend of hers said, "What if young people did this for the climate?"

 

 

Here is Greta on CNN with Fareed Zakaria and she also spoke at TEDxStockholm where she expresses amazement at how little we talk about climate change and how her Asperger's is an asset not a liability in working for change.

 

And here she is at the World Economic Forum last month. Special Address, Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum 2019

  

This reminded me of another young woman speaking up, Severn Cullis-Suzuki who spoke at Rio Summit in 1992

 

Here's to the youth and their courage to be principled and forthright. Without young people we wouldn't raise millions to fight pediatric cancer, we wouldn't have had a Civil Rights Movement or Earth Day. 

 

One sign from the climate protests in Australia struck me that read: "If you don't act like adults, we will." This weekend, hundreds of families impacted by pediatric cancer will be welcomed and their kids uplifted by Penn State students. They are certainly acting like adults by stepping up to help others, think beyond themselves and sacrifice their comfort to comfort others.

 

 

 

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