No – we didn’t vote en masse on Tuesday like we did two years ago. Blame it Obama not being up for re-election, or blame it the fact that our attention is elsewhere and midterm elections notoriously have lower turnouts than presidential elections. Blame it on whatever you want; just don’t take it as a mandate that under-30’s all across America don’t care where this country is headed.
The reality is that Millennials are choosing en masse to bring about change differently. Even though many think that the government can fix many of our present social problems, we’re not waiting for policy to be passed in Washington.
Need proof? Here are three ways Generation Y is jumping in and changing the world:
- Teach for America: This 20-year old organization constantly attracts the top graduating talent every year. Students that would work on Wall Street instead want to work in that dingy classroom in an underperforming school. Teach for America’s recent acceptance rate? Twelve percent. Millennials are fighting to impact America’s schoolchildren.
- TOMS Shoes – The poster child of social enterprise, TOMS Shoes uses its one for one model to provide shoes for kids all over the world (more than a million at last count). And, these Shoes of Tomorrow are on many Millennial feet, allowing the buyer to make a difference and tell others about how they’re changing the world.
- Blood:Water Mission – In my hometown of Nashville is one of the best branded nonprofits you’ll find. Providing clean water and other services to people in Africa, B:WM has a growing base of support of college students and young professionals who do everything to support the organization like ride bikes across the country, donate money online, and hold events. The charity has a throng of Gen Y advocates.
More Millennials would rather buycott than boycott, and we’d rather volunteer than vote. Say what you want to about our political engagement, just don’t try to assert that we’re not engaged at all. Gen Y has the pontential to change the world, just not in the way you think.