Tuesday night was a big night for our future. It was the 13th annual Brower Youth Awards night. Out of hundreds of applicants six youth leaders are chosen to receive this prestigious award from Earth Island Institute‘s New Leaders Initiative. These youth are already making a difference in their communities, often expanding their efforts by sharing and training other youth leaders. As part of the award, the selected youth receive training, connections and support to further their cause. As testimony to this system, award alumni spoke at the event and shared how this award had changed their life and trajectory by showing them ways to continue in a viable fashion. To meet these youth, and see this incredible award ceremony is to have hope for our future. These youth are doing the work now, they’re not waiting for someone to tell them they can’t. They don’t know about limitations. This is my second year photographing the youth for display posters for this event. In asking myself why I do it, the youth themselves told me. “Thank you for your affirmations. Thank you for your support. Thank you for coming to the ceremony.” I realized a way I can help them is to be witness, to affirm, to show up for them, to thank them and to share what they are doing. And to be inspired by them to take action myself.
“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” Desmond Tutu