The Gen Z Collective
Ila Prabhuram of GenZ Writes answered some Questions from Elizabeth Gracen. Read about it below and check out GenZ Writes!
1. Tell us all about you and your organization! Hi! My name is Ila Prabhuram, I'm a student at Etowah High School in Georgia, and I'm the founder of GenZ Writes. GenZ Writes is a completely student-run, online media platform with the goal of amplifying student voice and giving Gen Z a platform to share their thoughts and learn about other Gen Z change-makers. I started GenZ Writes after I found that my own personal blog about my take on current events and such was getting a lot of hits from people all over the world. I was very surprised, and I remember initially thinking, "people actually want to hear what I have to say!" I had been toying with the idea of starting a platform for students like me to share their voice for quite some time, but I never really took the step to actually start one until recently. I made GenZ Writes a diverse platform, showcasing youth from all different types of backgrounds, ethnicities, creeds, values, political beliefs, etc. Our platform exists as a safe place to empower youth and share their voices in an effort to uplift others.
2. Why do you think it’s important for your generation to let their voices be heard? I started GenZ Writes because I recognized the potential that GenZ students have. We are known to be the most politically aware, accepting, and diverse generation to exist. We are also the first generation to have grown up with so much technology at our fingertips. We've seen what it's like to not be taken seriously, and for people to automatically dismiss what we have to say purely because of our age. 3. Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future? While I am worried that some damage caused by our previous generations may be irreversible, I believe our generation has the power to really turn the world around and help it return to its natural state once again. I am optimistic that- if we are given enough support and resources- our generation has what it takes to change the world, and really make a difference for our future generations. 4. What are the most important issues facing our world right now? And in the future? Climate Change. Political tensions. Poverty-stricken areas. Lack of basic human necessities plaguing countries across the world. Gender Inequality. Woman's rights, or lack thereof. The gap between the wealthy and the poor, and how poor people stay poor while rich people stay rich. Those are some of the most important issues, I believe, that are plaguing the world at this very moment. I believe climate change will have an immense impact on our world in the future, and that it is beyond critical to do something about it now. We have to start now, and while our generation isn't the one who started this mess, it's up to us to fix it. Because terrible things are already happening because of climate change. We're already seeing the repercussions. Things are only going to get worse from here if we don't do something about it right now. 5. What does your organization offer that helps the world be a better place? We provide a platform for marginalized, youth voices come together and create a strong, unified force that cannot be reckoned with. We share stories of other Gen Z change-makers to inspire our audience to do good in the world, and that age does NOT matter when wanting to make a difference.
6. Will you be voting in the next election? Yes, I will be voting in the 2024 election. 7. Please tell us all about your current campaigns, projects and endeavors. Tell everyone where to find you online and on social platforms. I am a strong believer that everyone should have an access to a quality education, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, etc- and that education is at the crux of equal opportunity. I founded College Pathway, a nonprofit dedicated to educational equity, when I was 13. I started it after I realized that so many low-income students in my community didn't receive the same opportunities as other students from higher-income backgrounds. I had no idea whatsoever in starting a nonprofit, so it was super crazy to everyone else when I first announced it. I remember not receiving as much support as I wanted to in the beginning- "she's so young", "who cares about that?" "why is she even doing this in the first place?", which really made me question if I should continue doing this. However, I knew that if other students can step up to make a change, I can too. To date, College Pathway has reached over 1,000 students and parents and educated them on the importance of financial aid, educational equity, going to college/ technical school, and other resources they can take advantage of. We've also reached people/ collaborated with several different organizations nationally, and have spoken to over 20 state, congressional, and city representatives on making education more equitable for low-income students. I believe that everyone should be empowered to share their voice. Because everyone's voice is worth listening to, and everyone should receive equal opportunities. I also like to involve myself in a lot of other activities that allow me to share my voice for the greater good and societal change! Social platforms: Linkedin- linkedin.com/in/ilaprabhuram Instagram- @ilaprabhuram GenZ Writes- genzwrites.weebly.com 8. If there is anything else you would like to say, please do! I love to write! Writing is something that I've loved for such a long time, and it's a way for me to creatively express myself without any restrictions. I hope that, through my work and writing, I can inspire students to step up and make a change. I see so many ideas by students go overlooked, without given much of a second thought. I believe everyone has the power to change the world, but it's up to us to utilize it and share that power!
Ila Prabhuram Student & Founder of College Pathway