Today at my internship, we played a common icebreaker game where each person takes a few M&M’s of different colors and answer questions based off the colors they choose. We had some lighthearted questions, but the more serious questions were where the girls were challenged to think a little deeper.
For a green M&M (which is apparently a great flavor since the majority of the girls chose it), they had to answer this question: If you could fix any problem in the world to fix, what would it be and why?
I was pretty much expecting generic answers like “hunger” and “cancer,” but their answers absolutely blew me away. The answers that piled up as we went around the table were along the lines of “violence,” “racism,” “economic disparities,” and “immigration issues.” – Just a reminder that these girls are twelve, thirteen and fourteen years old.
Then, as if just knowing that those are serious issues isn’t enough, they start to connect the issues. They start discussing amongst themselves how if we combat racism and violence, the immigration issues wouldn’t be a problem. Then issues like hunger and poverty could be solved in solving economic disparities. I was amazed at how much these girls knew about these issues and that they knew just how much they affected them.
I’ve always really enjoyed working with kids and it was always really hard for me to describe why I liked it so much. I knew that I liked being a good role model for them, and see them learn and grow, but this activity helped me to put that into words.
I like working with kids because they are truly our future. These kids are the ones who will be working for these changes. Seeing the interest and passion these girls have for issues like this gives me hope for a better tomorrow. I constantly hear people cast young people who are in situations like theirs aside, but I am constantly so amazed by everything these girls do and say, and I know that one day they will change the world.
So that’s why I love working with kids. That is why I enjoy dedicating so much time to just make that little difference. Hearing a kid say you made an impact on the way they think is by far the greatest compliment. Having a 12 year old say you’re her favorite part of coming to camp every day – that’s why I do it. And I cannot wait to see the incredible things those kids do.