August is Youth Empowerment Month.
And really, every month should be about empowering young people.
This generation’s rising leaders are dazzling.
You’re taking the lead on the most critical challenges facing our country and planet – including the climate crisis, racial injustice, economic inequality, food insecurity, and protecting democracy.
Problems that others may find hopeless or too hard, you’ve taken on with energy and optimism.
Because you know that the world and the future belong to you.
All around the world, young people are leading social movements, running for office, starting NGOs and businesses, educating people on the issues, and inventing new technologies.
And it’s up to the rest of us to do everything we can to support young activists and leaders – because you’re a powerful force for positive change.
As President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “We can’t always build the future for our youth – but we can build our youth for the future.”
That’s why, here at the State Department, we run terrific programs that connect young people around the world.
Over the past few decades, more than 70,000 high school students from other countries have come to the United States through our exchange programs – and nearly 23,000 American students have traveled abroad.
We believe that helping young people forge connections across borders so they can gain a deeper sense of understanding of other countries and cultures is how we’ll build a more peaceful, healthy, and equitable future for all of us.
For me, going to high school in another country changed my entire perspective of the world.
I wouldn’t give it up for anything.
So if you’d like to be a part of our youth exchange programs – as a host family, participating school, or as an exchange student yourself – visit this website to find out more.
And to all the young people out there impatient for change and looking for ways to make the world a better place, know that we’re proud of you – we’re counting on you – and we believe in you.
Thanks, for listening.