I can't speak for 80 million people, but I align so deeply to all the things discussed (and so many of the clichés), including wanting to have a purpose I'm deeply connected to (or finding that purpose), seeking balance and meaning with my work, but more than anything, wanting to change the world and make it a better place.
Afterschool changed my life—and now I know afterschool is definitely a profession that can change the world. It has big impact. We just need to show the meaning it gives to those who work in it, and not just focus on the outcomes for kids.
As afterschool leaders, I know you're already thinking about this. But a few thoughts:
• This is also a generation with an incredible amount of creativity and ingenuity. How can we tap into that?
• We also need paths for folks to make money. They're not very income-driven and are willing to make less to do more good, but paths to leadership positions or ways to pay off our student debt are incredibly important. Economics are something very important to me, not just for myself, but for society. I ask questions like: Can we have a future without needing everyone to work? Would a concept like basic income work? How will we deal with automation?
• Identity/social justice is huge. Very interested in making everyone happy/comfortable in the world. Want to right wrongs. Perhaps something like: afterschool is a place where all students are equal.
• Environment is also a huge issue. Not sure how to tap into that, but it is a big issue. I'm very worried about it for my own future. The more we can do to educate, inform and work together to reduce our environmental impact, the better. I'd love to hear your ideas on this!
Contributed by Erin Leonard, Director of Meetings and Events, Collaborative Communications.