Monthly Archives: January 2016

US high schoolers bored, need purpose

In conversations with thousands of teenagers visiting over 100 high schools around the US, educator Patrick Cook-Deegan found they were bored or very pressured and stressed. Most didn’t feel their high school education is relevant so he advocates changing 19th century teaching methods to engage students’ passion and purpose. Students would collaborate with their peers instead of competing with them, provide adult mentoring, and includes developing the inner live of students and real world activities. They need to understand why they are in school rather than just aiming to get into the best universities to insure a good job. Cook-Deegan is developing a purpose-based curriculum at Stanford University’s demonstration school.

Patrick Cook-Deegan, “Seven Ways to Help High Schoolers Find Purpose,” Greater Good, January 11, 2016.

Young leaders’ views: Global Shapers Survey 2015

The Global Shapers survey of over 1,000 young activists garnered responses from 125 countries, with the most from Latin America and the least from China.[i] Their mean age was 28 and 60% of the respondents were male. They reported the top three issues facing the world are inequality (56%) climate change and the environment (42%), and access to education (33%). They support local businesses over imported ones. The top issues facing their cities are inequality, youth unemployment, and lack of government transparency. When asked which sector will require the most change to adapt to Millennials, they replied government (54%), education (42%), and agriculture (24%). Few trust government, religious leaders (only 15%), news media, or multinational corporations. However, 85% said they vote in national elections. They only trust their employer (68%) and NGOs (46%). The living world leaders they most admire are all men: Pope Francis, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Richard Branson, Mohammad Yunus, Narendra Modi, and Warren Buffett. When asked what are the most important things they look for in a job, they said the opportunity to make a difference (65%), opportunities to learn (51%) and career advancement (40%). Similar to other studies, they identify globally willing to move to another country.


Mexican Student Activist re: 43 missing young men

“Even within the context of the violence that has left over 120,000 dead and tens of thousands disappeared since 2006, the forced disappearance of the Ayotzinapa students represents a watershed moment, not merely for the manner in which 43 young men were abducted by security forces, but for the widely-held suspicion of governmental involvement. Mexican authorities have been accused of a campaign of disinformation and of attempting to discredit those who challenge the establishment narrative. Endemic chaos and corruption at all levels has given Mexico the unofficial title of the “narco-state.”


Indignados in Office in Spain

Activist and PAH founder Ada Colau (age 41) is mayor of Barcelona, the first of the indignados to win office, telling supporters “This is the victory of David over Goliath.” Her campaign included a popular music video with her singing, titled El Run Run (the buzz). Her group Barcelona in Common is affiliated with Podemos. An Australian observer concluded, “The movement has indeed created a new language and praxis of citizenship in Spain,” with the citizens for “real democracy now” contrasted to “the caste” (la casta) of wealthy politicians and bankers.[i] In response to the 2015 crisis, Colau posted on Facebook suggesting a network of refuge-cities. Her “appeal to affection” went viral and families responded with offers to share their homes.

[i] John Postill, “Field Theory, Media Change and the New Citizen Movements,” Mediterranean Politics, December 23, 2014.

Give old clothes for girls’ ed, Malala Fund

Today, more than 60 million girls are not in school for reasons including having to work, being married at an early age, and taking care of siblings. In more than 70 countries, violence also hinders girls from getting an education.

The Malala Fund is working to provide learning programs and safe spaces for girls in Pakistan, Nigeria, Kenya, and Sierra Leone, as well as Syrian refugee girls at risk of child marriage in Lebanon and Jordan. This past year, it awarded more than $1 million in grants for Syrian refugees. –

The Malala Fund and donated-clothing program Schoola have partnered to create He Named Me Malala bags, with the aim of providing 12 years of free, quality, and safe schooling to girls being deprived of an education. But they need the help of students across America to do so.


To date, Schoola has received 1,567 filled bags, which together raised more than $103,000 for the Malala Fund. They’ve received over 15 tons of clothes—the equivalent of 30,404 pounds—for the campaign.


Students contribute by stuffing the Malala-branded bags, prepaid postage included, with gently used clothing and mailing them. Schoola sells the donated clothes online and sends the remaining sales proceeds, after shipping and fund-raising costs, to the Malala Fund to support girls’ education worldwide. For every student who donates, his or her school receives 40 percent of the profit from sold clothing items. ( – See more at: more at: & make a difference in 2 easy steps!

Just enter your info below, and we’ll send you a bag, postage-paid.

Fill it with adorable kids’ and women’s clothing and leave it for your mail carrier. We’ll take it from there and 40% of the proceeds will go to the school of your choice.

Young white drug overdose epidemic

The number of drug overdose deaths reached a new peak in 2014: 47,055 people, or the equivalent of about 125 Americans every day, similar to the
H.I.V. epidemic at its peak. Most are young, white and poorly educated.
The death rate from drug overdoses is climbing at a much faster pace than other causes of death, jumping to an average of 15 per 100,000 in 2014 from nine per 100,000 in 2003.