Hello from Washington. All of us share a firm belief in the power of young people to reshape our world. On nearly every overseas trip that I take, I make it a point to meet with university students and other young leaders. Earlier this month I visited the Balkans, and I could feel the students’ enthusiasm for making a better future for themselves, their communities, and their countries. In many places, youth under the age of 25 make up a large part, even a majority, of the population. So if we’re going to tackle our toughest problems, from terrorism to climate change, we will have to tap your talents and passions. At the State Department, we recently launched a new Task Force on Youth to better coordinate the government’s efforts to reach out to young people around the world.
Gatherings like this are an excellent opportunity to share ideas and forge new partnerships. Because when young people have the chance to get involved, they gain a sense of purpose. They bring creativity and contribute new energy. And they become engaged citizens for whom service can be a lifelong practice.
So I thank each of you for your efforts. I look forward to working together as we create opportunities for young people and help build a brighter future for them and for us all.