Proud to be Gen Z by Alina Wilson
November is for a Cause
I had visited the retirement center once a year since lower school. We sang carols and cut out Veteran’s Day card. We smiled. The residents smiled. Then, we said goodbye until next year. Years later, as a high school student, I looked back on those days. When the community service director of my school brought me together with another student, we came up with the idea of the Adopt a Grandparent Program, a program that pairs students with residents from a local nursing home in order to bridge the generation gap and ease social isolation.
Sophomore year, my fellow student and I co-founded the program. The program began with four students visiting a couple residents at the fountains of Canterbury Nursing Home, and then the program evolved and individual students began “adopting” residents, hoping to form a close bond with individual residents. The program has taken off since then and is now spreading to other high schools and retirement communities.
I am proud to be a part of Generation Z, a generation that, at ages 3-21, already attempts to solve problems and to make things better. Many may call us lazy or entitled, but I love my generation. We are active: in politics, activism, and shaping America’s future. Early November, my phone and my social media networks blew up with posts from people my age encouraging each other to vote. 31% of those of us who could voted during the midterm, a 25 year high. This trend indicates that we are not simply accepting our future, but actively shaping it. Recently, an interviewer asked me what I thought the role of my generation is in society. The question still bothered me days later.
Surprisingly, I found the answer while scrolling through my Instagram feed–when I saw that young people just like me were posting about causes, attending marches, and empowering each other. We are not letting others decide our future; if those currently in charge refuse to act in our best interest, then we take matters into our own hands. My generation has a voice, a voice that its members share over Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and countless other streams of media. WE, the youth, support so many causes, from gun violence to environmental issues. Most generations wait till they come-of-age to change the world, but we are doing it right now. All of us are adding to the movement, are pushing for a better future… And I couldn’t be prouder.
If you’re a member of Gen Z, what is your hope for the future? Share on Facebook, Insta, Twitter, @missheardmedia.