Katija Aladin, Head of Community of HundrED, a Finnish education innovation research organization whose mission is to support every child to flourish in life, speaks exclusively to Youth Time and shares more on the success of one of their crucial communities- Hundred Youth Ambassadors.
HundrED Youth Ambassadors is an active community of students from around the world who are passionate about education and want to be a part of its change together.
With the help of Aladin, we will see how this community improves the lives of young people and prepares them for a future with more opportunities. In this piece, she also shares information about the communities’ open call, so if you are a young person, aged 12 – 19 and interested in connecting with a group of young changemakers, keep reading for an exciting opportunity for you and your future as a young activist.
The contributions of HundrED remind us that positive change only comes from working together and collaborating.
Improving the Lives of Children
At the beginning of our conversation, she briefly introduces our readers to the HundrED Youth Ambassador community and the inspiration behind it.
“The inspiration behind the community stems from a desire to have students involved in our projects as well as highlighting youth voice in all aspects of our work”.
Recalling that their mission is to help every child flourish in life no matter what happens, Aladin adds: “We believe that the only way to truly improve the lives of young people around the world is to understand their challenges, hopes, and dreams for the future of education”.
She highlights the HundrED Community knows that involving all stakeholders is necessary to drive change and build a better future.
Measuring the Success
Once you visit the HundrED webpage, you will see their achievements illustrated through fresh and unique pieces, pictures, and numbers. While we are narrowing this piece to the particular success of the HundrED Youth Ambassadors community, we bring into the discussion that only during 2021 it has involved 100 young people from over 38 countries.
Aladin shares with us how they manage to reach such a great number of young people.
Within the HundrED Community, she goes on, they are so lucky to have amazing ambassadors who believe in the work they are doing and are actively engaging their local communities.
“We actually have 942 ambassadors from over 100 countries. They are instrumental in sharing information on our Youth Ambassador Community and getting the young people in their lives involved”.
In addition, she says, at HundrED they believe that by identifying pedagogically sound, impactful, and scalable education innovations they can help education systems to better support learning.
“We define innovation as a positive improvement to the status quo, which means that innovation really depends on context,” says Aladin.
To date, they have amassed a database of thousands of education innovations globally.
“The selected innovations are often teacher-led, and over 70% of our selected innovations are non-profit”.
“We know that collaboration is the best way to make change happen and therefore partner with inspiring organizations such as the LEGO Foundation, the World Bank, and the Jacobs Foundation who partner with us to identify and highlight innovations pertaining to a particular theme in education”.
These partnerships, she elaborates, help them increase their reach and their solution-oriented approach to education.
Youth Pursuing Their Passions
Speaking to all the young people out there, Aladin believes that being your authentic self is your superpower!
“I love seeing young people pursuing their passion and doing it their way. It is easy to get in the trap of feeling like you have to fit a certain mold of what a founder acts and looks like or what a director should be like, but I am so excited to see young people pave their own path”.
She always tells their Youth Ambassadors, let’s try new things out.
“It could be great, it might not work as well as we hope, but either way we will gain important information from that”.
Hundred Youth Ambassadors has just reopened applications for the Youth Ambassador Community 2022. If you are a young person, aged 12 – 19 and interested in connecting with a group of young changemakers, Aladin and the whole team would love for you to apply!
You can find the application here and the deadline to apply is March 5th.
Another great project HundrED will launch soon is the Social & Emotional Learning Policymaker event, for which Youth Time will be reporting soon.
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