The saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” is one of the most accurate cliches. In any field, it helps to know people. And the benefit of networking is rarely given full credit. To those who are aspiring to build a business or start their own community group, networking is your key to success. You may not have full funding or a team of 100 people, but having a coalition of people across fields will help make up that difference. Continue reading
Throughout this semester, I have continued to build the infrastructure of my organization – which manifests in multiple ways.
First, I have been working meticulously to clarify and focus the organization’s message and mission statement. I want my organization to be laser focused and understood by at a glance from the general public. After a few more revisions, new pages on my website with a Theory of Change, updated mission, and supporting information will be uploaded.
Networking and partnerships have also played a large role in this semester. I worked to secure my first endorsement for my legislation and first official partner. I have also been reaching out to various people in the field and introducing myself. I want to build as many relationships and coalitions as possible.
Media coverage and digital momentum has been another area of focus. I already secured multiple articles through reaching out to journalists with more yet to be published (the biggest and most exciting from VICE). Many of these articles focused on my story because it is unique that I am in high school, yet still pursuing this work. Part of what drives media attention is my story, so that’s why I’ve also been building my own branding. I cleaned up my online presence and expanded my digital horizons.
This is just a sample of my Semester work. So far I have had a very successful and productive start to the Independent Seminar and I look forward to the rest of the year.
Sex education needs serious renovations – dare I say an overhaul. We are failing to teach students how to keep their bodies happy, healthy, and safe. Here are four reasons why sex education is failing students in Pennsylvania and across the nation: Continue reading
A Theory of Change is a visual representation of how an organization expects to enact change. It clearly illustrates the action plan of the organization and provides an accessible way of understanding the mission. A Theory of Change is crucial to many organizations, specifically nonprofits. Continue reading
On October 2nd 2017 a Q&A about the work I’ve been doing was posed on Vice News. It was later added to their national snapchat story. It’s hard to say how many people saw the article but this was national coverage which means a TON of people saw it all across the country and perhaps the world.
Let’s look at the numbers we do have:
We can use Facebook’s article tracking feature to see how many times it was simply shared on the popular social media site. In the past two weeks it has been shared by nearly 2,000 people and popular pages.
I don’t have any way to quantify any other post-based social media websites like twitter, but this gives an audience rage on one.
We can however extract a few numbers from Snapchat’s stories. Vice News is one of the most popular snapchat stories, and while the app does not release official viewership counts, NBC released their own count earlier this year.
Read more: Quakerism’s Influence on my Activism – KC
According to Variety, the multi-media giant garnered a whopping 29 million views in the first month of starting their new snapchat story. While this number is probably inflated because of first month promotion, it allows us to see the amount of people who are tuning into a specific story – a new one at that.
It is safe to say that over a hundred thousand people saw the story on Vice. We don’t have any way of quantifying the number of people who then chose to read the article, but they were all able to see this video:
So why do these numbers matter? It’s simple, good press is one of the most crucial parts of any organization or movement. Over the past two weeks since my article dropped, my mailbox has been flooded with new people wanting to get involved. Leading activist in my field have begun reaching out to partner.
Read more: Timing is an Art Form – KC
I’m really excited about working with these people and continuing to build my organization. To those trying to build something new, I suggest you start working on news coverage. Reach out to local reporters or people who frequently write about related topics. Start sending press-releases when new things happen inside your organization.
These kinds of articles will help propel your message and build a wider audience.
My interview about Keystone Coalition for Advancing Sex Education was just published in Vice News’ Broadly section today titled “This Teen is Paving the Way for LGBTQ Inclusive Sex Ed in Schools”. The following post is a follow-up on the interview, which you can read here.
One of the questions I was asked for my Q&A was “Westtown is a Quaker school. Were you raised Quaker? If so, how has that influenced your path regarding Keystone CASE (if at all)? If not, how has your Quaker schooling influenced your path in any way (if at all)?” Continue reading
I’ve reached the point in the development of my organization where great things are happening each week. In the beginning, I’d see a stroke of good luck maybe once a month. And it wouldn’t really matter if I ran to Facebook and announced the news or posted here for the community to see. Now, I find myself having to play closer attention to the release of information. Continue reading
Last semester I was able to reach a large majority of my goals. This year, the Independent Seminar is not built into my schedule. I added it on top of 6 other courses because of my dedication to advancing sex education in this country. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m tight with time, but still have a long list of goals. This semester I’m focusing on financial planning, team expansion, and event planning. Continue reading
For many students, the summer is a time primarily to relax and binge watch the latest Netflix shows. Don’t get me wrong, I did do my fair share of relaxing in St. Croix and plowing through episodes of Shameless. But most of my time was spent working. Both on my nonprofit and full-time job at Jaco Taco. Continue reading
This is the last blog post of the semester. I’ve learned so much and accomplished a ton throughout the semester while studying sex education and legislation.
What I’ve Accomplished/Completed:
- Three academically written expose analyses of sex education and the state of education in Pennsylvania (awaiting publishing).
- A step-by-step beginners guide to writing legislation.
- A successful fundraiser that pulled in nearly $3000.00.
- Draft of The Pennsylvania Healthy Youth Act 2017.
- Draft of the bylaws for my organization.
- Logo and design selection.
- Purchased and registered my fictitious name.
- Started web design.
- Numerous blog posts.
- A successful Facebook page.
Read More: Clean Up Work – KC
Topics I’ve learned about:
- Financing and budgeting
- Organizational infrastructure
- Legislative history
- Political Science
- Advertising and Marketing
- Healthcare Policy
- Sexual Health
This is the most exciting and interdisciplinary project I’ve ever worked on. I’m excited to continue developing my 501(c)4 organization over the summer & next semester, and get it ready for the January 17th, 2018 launch.