Often times, change starts from an improbable idea.
Youngchange-Bestchange was started when a teenager realized that he could be doing more, that there was more to the world than the small town in which he lives in or the friends he sees in the hallway every day. The biggest problems of this age will not solve themselves, and there's no reason to wait until it's too late to start fixing them. The YCBC team recognizes this, and each member has worked hard to address these issues through both their actions and their words. All under 20, we're showing the world that age is just a number when it comes to social activism.
Meet the Founder
Sam believes that social change works best when youth are leading the way, having worked for the past year and a half through Youngchange-Bestchange to inspire other young changemakers toward making a difference. Born in New York but living in Los Angeles, Sam has done his best to bring a strong global theme to YCBC, and has won scholarships to travel to France, London, Germany and Switzerland in the past two years. Passionate about education reform, he was asked to speak at EF Tour's Global Student Leaders Summit to an audience of 1,500 people. Sam then led a movement against standardized testing at his high school, bringing together forty percent of the junior class to refuse to take the upcoming Common Core test. Also caring deeply about youth involvement in politics, he's served as student mayor of Burbank, California and was a Yale Young Global Scholar for politics and economics this summer. In his freetime, Sam enjoys teaching himself German and Spanish, and playing soccer when he can. He just wants to make a difference in people's lives.
MEET THE Global action TEAM
Being born into a multinational environment, Alina grew up in the crossroads of different cultures, social and economic backgrounds, religions and languages. Being half Russian, half German by nationality, Alina speaks five languages: English, German, Russian, Dutch and Spanish. Whilst traveling across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, she has seen many facets of the world and humanity – some were breathtakingly beautiful and some repulsively distressing. Alina has worked with orphans in St. Petersburg, Russia, raising awareness for the orphanage and facilitating their possible adoption. In her TEDx talk, she addressed the human rights implications of child marriage, and discussed the controversial cultural ties linked to underage brides. She also continues to work in a refugee center in Wales, teaching English to Syrian asylum seekers. During her free time, she enjoys ice-skating and dancing. Currently, Alina dedicates herself to the research of sexual and gender-based violence in armed conflicts. She has recently completed several video-interviews on the investigation and prosecution of sexual crimes in the International Criminal Court in The Hague. In her every-day life, Alina juggles the academic and social demands of her senior year in high school, preparing to take her passion for social justice to the next level.
Gustavo Adolfo CASTILLO
Gustavo is a student in his senior year of high school in Cali, Colombia, his hometown. His whole academic life, he has been an outstanding student, always looked upon by classmates and teachers as a potential leader. His passion for debating, diplomacy, and sociopolitical affairs derived from his early experience in Model United Nations. Even though he initially struggled to enter a Model UN competition, his choice to finally become involved changed his perspective changed on life, and his eyes opened towards the injustices and plights that other people are living as he sat comfortably in his room learning about them through his computer. Being a witness of unfair, inhuman, and unacceptable behaviors and actions driven by greed, power, and intolerance in Colombia and the world has made him uneasy and thirsty for change. In his sophomore year he wass part of the TNG Teenage Leadership group in his school, which worked with other foundations to help families and children in need. Along with his peers, he has also worked to create an intramural two day debate to discuss the current peace treaties in Colombia. As a newcomer to Youngchange-Bestchange, he expects to bring action and make a positive change to his city, country, and world by working as a team, and by doing more than just leading, but inspiring other young adults to take action.
Katherine Sorrell empowers youth to alter their perception of what they are capable of. Early in her sophomore year of high school, Katherine established an association for social entrepreneurship called Youth Leadership and Social Change, which provides a platform for teenagers to take direct initiative to develop their leadership abilities through community engagement. As founder and president of Youth Leadership and Social Change, Katherine has organized a student-led community-wide forum to weigh how school climate affects student performance and instituted peer mentoring workshops at her high school, in which students addressed issues of self-identity, group dynamics, long-term goals and personal values. She also serves as the Media Intern for the Leon County Alliance for Girls, an inter-agency collaboration focused on providing quality, diverse, gender-specific programs for girls. As a member of Youngchange-Bestchange’s Global Action Team, Katherine works to provide opportunity for all youth to connect locally and globally, to take ownership of their passions and their initiatives to grow them.
Growing up in Chicago, Illinois for nearly her entire life only to be thrust into a completely different environment to begin high school, Tosin refused to let such a drastic change deter her from pursuing her dreams. Instead, as a now senior at the International Community School of Abuja in Nigeria, Tosin has been able to work towards making more of a difference than she ever could have imagined. Since beginning school in Nigeria, Tosin has worked to create Peer Mediation, a program brought about to unite and empower her fellow schoolmates. By establishing this venture, Tosin and her team are working towards helping many of the youths in their school assimilate effective conflict-resolution skills. Their motto? "By Youth, For Youth." Besides heading this program, Tosin is also an active participant in her school's internally displaced persons club, where the students work to provide food and clothing to members of the Nigerian community who have have had to flee their homes due to war in their respective neighborhoods. It was in this club where Tosin learned the importance youths have in the lives of those around them. By being an affiliate of Youngchange-Bestchange, Tosin hopes to continue to be able to bring about positive changes to her community and others, as well as create innovative ways for youths everywhere to get involved.
Alvin Kim, a high school junior, considers himself to be a practical dreamer. Despite balancing rigorous courses, managing multiple campus leadership positions, and committing himself to varsity level sports, Alvin strives to aid his community by interning at city hall and cooking for homeless families. He is a strong believer in a "self made man"; he enjoys working from the bottom of the ladder, but always aims to reach the pinnacle. He is open minded and focuses his persistence towards the attainment of a set goal. Alvin is also an avid reader and likes to take online courses on a wide array of subjects in his free time. Alvin's ultimate goal is to make an impact in our society by exhausting every resource to make a contribution and taking every advantage of what is offered to him.
Michael Bader is a freshman student at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland who plans to major in International Affairs. He loves Model United Nations and the world of international politics and diplomacy. As a founding member of the Global Organization for Aspiring Leaders, shortened to GOAL, he is also socially active and promotes social entrepreneurship among youth wherever he can. In his free time he travels the world, preferably on a plane since aviation is one of his favorite past times.
Julia Schemmer is a freshman student at the University of California, Riverside as a double major in Political Science and Middle Eastern/Islamic Studies. When she's not studying for a test or participating in clubs such as Mock Trial, Julia contributes to over thirty outlets, including the Huffington Post, CNN, Buzzfeed, and USA Today College. A seasoned red carpet reporter, Julia aspires to use entertainment as a hook to connect people with global issues. When she's older, she aspires to become an international human rights lawyer, foreign correspondent and diplomat working to end genocide in the Middle East.
Evan Mehta is a current senior at Burbank High School. As a political pundit, he has served as the president of the National Student Leadership Conference in Washington D.C and the editor of American University's summer newspaper, met with various political dignitaries on youth activism and enfranchisement, and functioned as intern for Congressman Adam Schiff’s (D-28) district office. Evan is also a nationally recognized jazz pianist and composer, having been accepted to the GRAMMY Foundation’s international summer program, the Stanford Jazz Institute, and the Colburn School of Music. He hopes to encourage his peers to enfranchise themselves within their local and national spheres through activism and resourcefulness by provoking meaningful change in their communities.
Become a Partner
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