3 Youth Innovators On What Leadership Means To Them

Young people are at the center of YTH’s work, from design and testing of innovative health solutions to dissemination of findings. By working closely with youth, we’re better able to meet their unique needs and make sure the end result reflects their lived experience.

In celebration of International Youth Day, we asked some of our young partners what leadership means to them and how it’s been central to shaping their lives and the lives of their peers.

Ziad Ahmed, Founder & Executive Director of Redefy

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Serving as the Founder and President of Redefy has enabled me to be my best self. More than that though, leadership has exposed me to a world of leaders in a wide array of fields on the forefront of creating a better tomorrow. If I’ve learned anything, everyone has leadership within them. We all have our niche, our skills, and our passions, and it’s a beautiful thing when we capitalize on them to change the world positively. I’m infinitely grateful to have had the opportunity to impact change in the worlds of activism, social justice, and change-making, and I look forward to a lifetime of learning, loving, and leading.”

Elizabeth Dee, YTH YAB Member

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“Youth leadership means to me creating and sharing resources in my communities to lift up a culture of support and abundance. As a youth leader in the world of sexual health and queer justice, I strive to better the lives of others in underserved communities through education.”

Shawn Riley, YTH YAB Member

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“As Huey Newton said, ‘the revolution has always been in the hands of the young. The young always inherit the revolution.’ It’s important to remember this when working with (and never for) young people. We need to empower young people in this country and around the world to exercise their autonomy and flex their imagination. It is important to carve out spaces where young people lead and build collective power. We need to not only include, but center and empower young people in our movements, in order to build a social wave big enough that we all can get free.”


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