By Audrey Willett:
Voice4teens is all about amplifying teen voices, telling teenage stories, and inspiring our youth. They do so with their podcast and monthly magazine. Please enjoy our interview with Zoe, a co-founder of the voice4teens project.
AW: Tell us all about you and your organization!
Z: Hello, everyone! My name is Zoe, and I am the co-founder of the voice4teens project! Our online initiative/project serves to amplify teenage voices and inspire the new generation. Although we launched only recently, we are so excited to expand even further and do many more great things in the future! But currently, as a part of our project's mission, we are hosting a podcast series called "Teen Leaders." Each episode features a different guest who talks about their organization and how they are serving their communities. The individuals we interview are truly outstanding, and we hope they can inspire all of you to do something of your own! In the first episode, just launched, we recently spoke to a 13-year-old activist advocating for change, so check it out.
AW: Why do you think it’s important for your generation to let their voices be heard?
Z: The world we currently live in is not perfect—as a matter of fact it's very much broken. The key to rebuilding our society is the new generation. I believe that our generation is so different from all the previous ones. We may be obnoxious, but we are able to accept one another in a way I've never seen people do. Listen to people's stories. Understand what they've been through. An individual's story is so powerful, and I think we all deserve to be heard in some way.
AW: Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future?
Z: Good question! Probably both. I think that we are advancing so much as a society, so much that I cannot even fathom how our world will look in the next 10 years. Technology is on the rise, and social/moral standards are somewhat shifting. But anything bad can happen, of course!
AW: What are the most important issues facing our world right now? And in the future?
Z: There are so many. I can't say there's an overarching issue that's more important than all the others, considering what many countries are currently going through. But I think racism and lack of acceptance in our society is still a huge thing we're going through. I recognized it when I saw the rise of BLM during the pandemic. It's honestly sad to see it happen, especially in America.
AW: What does your organization offer that helps the world be a better place?
Z: I just want to be able to tell the stories of our generation. There are so many incredible teens who are dedicating their time to all these causes. All of them inspire me, so I hope I can help them inspire other people as well.
AW: Will you be voting in the next election?
Z: I am not of age, but I am pre-registered to vote once I turn 18! If you are of age, please vote! It takes such little time, yet makes such a big impact.
AW: Please tell us all about your current campaigns, projects, and endeavors. Tell everyone where to find you online and on social platforms.
Z: We are currently working on a magazine issue that will include articles on teen mental health, advocacy, and so much more! We also have a podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, & more! Check it out, we feature so many awesome teens on there.
AW: If there is anything else you would like to say, please do!
Z: Make sure to check out the links above for our social medias and podcast! We are also expanding very soon and will open applications, so stay tuned! We truly want to be able to highlight so many more teen voices, and you can help us with that! Follow us on Instagram @voice4teensproject.
Audrey Willett is a southern California sophomore in high school. She is an activist and aspiring filmmaker, and the Social Media Outreach coordinator for The Gen Z Collective.