The future has never looked brighter. Earlier this year, millennials (adults ages 18 to 34 in 2015) became the largest share of the American workforce, according to Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. This is good news for all of us because this generation seeks to turn around all of the “wrong” they see in the world. Perhaps this is due to the fact that they grew up with terrorist attacks (9/11), school shootings, AIDS and increased climate change disasters. As the most educated generation yet, many millennials are working toward sustaining or improving the planet and its people.
Attributes commonly shared by these young people include being open-minded, having multi-cultural viewpoints, and a global focus. While embracing diversity, this generation values collaboration, work-life balance, innovation and entrepreneurism. They adeptly use, create, and adapt to technology and social media in order to achieve their goals.
Last Monday, an amazing team of millennials stopped in Fort Collins as part of their journey across the nation. They invited all sorts of people on board their bright blue bus to share their dreams. Ultimately, their mobile classroom will arrive in Los Angeles and will be featured at the Special Olympics.
The bus was created by the hard work of Lena Jacobs, who was inspired in high school by an organization called The Future Project. The Future Project is revolutionizing education by empowering young people to build the life and world that they imagine. They embed Dream Directors into schools across America, who mentor, lead and inspire students to realize their dreams.
Divine Bradley leads and trains Future Project’s cadre of motivating dream directors. He accompanied the dream team on their journey from Washington, DC to Colorado. Divine shared how he began his career as a social entrepreneur when he was 17 years old. After witnessing gang activity and the death of friend, Divine wanted to create a “gang of good” in his underserved Brooklyn neighborhood. He begged his mother to allow him to convert half of their home into a community center. She finally agreed after he raised $25,000 through the help of a nonprofit organization called Team Revolution. Divine has multiplied his good work through the efforts of the Future Projects’ dream directors in schools across the country.
Fort Collins’ native Alex Colby, Future Project’s Director of Inspiration, was also aboard the dream bus. Alex, a freelance videographer based in New York, has been documenting Future Project’s efforts and students’ dreams for several years. Through Alex’s eyes and creative films, thousands of viewers have been inspired to take steps toward bettering their lives or the lives of those around them.
These dream builders, determined agents of positive change, exemplify the best attributes of their generation. Yes, the future is bright, and we can’t wait to see all that millennials continue to accomplish. For more information on the dream bus visit www.dreambus.org and for information on The Future Project visit www.thefutureproject.org
This article was originally published in The Coloradoan Newspaper, August 5, 2015Ferah Aziz is a college coach with launchphase2. Visit www.launchphase2.com to learn more about coaching for college bound & college attending students.
P. Carol Jones is the author of “Toward College Success: Is Your Teenager Ready, Willing, and Able.” Visit www.towardcollegesuccess.com to read excerpts and to follow her blog.