06 Dec Never Underestimate The Power of A Young Mind
Unlike many cultures across the world, American culture is led by our young people in many ways. The things we buy, the styles we wear, and even the trends we choose to participate in are, more or less, birthed from our younger generation. Companies all over have adjusted their marketing and advertising strategies to fit what our youth desire. Educational systems and political organizations have changed how they operate based on the voices of America’s new generation.
You could certainly say that America sees how young people will impact our future. However, despite our youth’s ability to change how we view the world and function in this country, they are often underestimated because of their age. Luckily, that has yet to hold them back. Generation Z, in particular, has continued to break down barriers and overcome stereotypes in a range of areas to prove that we should never underestimate the power of a young mind.
To remind us of the power of our youth, here are some areas where they continue to thrive.
Education is one of the many parts of our society that is vastly different from generation to generation. Today, we see technology take control in many classrooms and assist our students in more effective and efficient learning. However, when it comes to the students directly, we even see a difference in the way they think. For the majority of the students in Gen Z, they have not known a world in which we weren’t all connected. Whether it be through news outlets, the internet, or social media, they take in an unimaginable amount of information on a daily basis that gives them a different understanding of the world. Over the years, this has actually translated well into the classroom.
With more awareness of different cultural, social, and economic experiences aside from their own, they are likely to have a deeper, more personalized understanding of a subject. They can also think more creatively about a subject because again, they have likely heard and seen a greater number of perspectives from those around them. To use race and ethnicity as an example, Generation Z is on track to become the most racially diverse generation yet with 48% of individuals identifying as non-white. So, regardless of their own individual race, a student in Gen Z may have more questions and opinions based on what they have seen or experienced amongst their peers. This is nothing to look down upon, but instead nurture, because again it can allow them to relate on a deeper level with the subject they are studying.
Additionally, young people, these days tend to require a more hands-on, individualized learning approach which seemingly mirrors how they take in information in their personal lives. Many of them have learned to digest information through self-paced YouTube tutorials and quick TikTok videos so when in the classroom, an immersive and personal approach is ideal.
As educators, it is important for us to understand that though their learning style is different, it actually is effective. Students in Gen Z are pursuing higher education at a greater rate than previous generations while also dropping out of high school at a much lower rate. Although there is a range of additional factors that can contribute to this, their unique learning style is still proving itself to work. When we truly nurture the minds of our students and align with the way they learn best, we’d be amazed by what they can do.
When it comes to entering the workforce, again, our current generation of young people is drastically different however, no less effective in their approach. Instead of adapting to what our society has traditionally defined as success, young people these days have completely broken those boundaries and are changing how we work.
Most notably, Gen Z are requiring companies to adjust their missions and values to be more progressive and future thinking. Young adults are no longer looking for the highest-paying or most convenient position but instead, one that aligns with their own personal values. For example, a recent study showed that 65% of Gen Z respondents felt that recruiters should be soliciting gender pronouns from potential candidates. Similarly, 69% or respondents stated that they would “absolutely” be more willing to apply to a job that emphasized racial and ethnic diversity in their recruiting material. This goes to show how important these values are to this generation and given that the oldest members of Gen Z are only beginning to enter the workforce, companies and organizations will have to adjust to these values if they want to bring in top talent.
Rêve Academy has even been working towards embracing our values in order to align with the students we work alongside.
The entrepreneurial minds of young people today are really unlike anything we’ve seen before. Whether they are kids, teens, or young adults, our youth are truly redefining success in America. Similar to the ways they thrive in academics and the workforce, Generation Z is quickly becoming the most entrepreneurial generation with about 62% of individuals stating that they already have, or plan to start their own business in the future.
One of the youngest entrepreneurs we’ve seen from Gen Z, Moziah Bridges, is well-known for his company, Mo’s Bows, which he founded when he was just 9 years old. Since then, he has gained national attention and appeared on the show Shark Tank where he received one of the best deals in the show’s history.
The boldness of young entrepreneurs like Moziah is truly allowing other GenZers to think outside of the box and go after any dreams they have. Even at Rêve Academy, we see students like Ezra, an aspiring streamer, take steps toward their future every day and with motivation, discipline, and additional guidance from the Rêve Academy team.
However, with the oldest members of the generation being just 24 years old, much of Gen Z has only lived in a world where young entrepreneurship was normal. So, it is important to realize that young entrepreneurship became normalized over time by all of the young businessmen and women that came before this generation. Because they have been able to find success in their particular fields, Gen Z has been able to motivate themselves to do the same. Just to name a few Millennials that paved the way as young entrepreneurs:
- Mark Zuckerburg: In his teens, Zuckerberg became the founder and CEO of Facebook along with 4 of his classmates. Today he has built the company to nearly $86 billion in value.
- Rafael Ilishayev: As a first-generation American whose family immigrated from Russia, Ilishayev founded the well-known food delivery service, GoPuff, alongside his classmate when he was only 23 years old. Since then, they both have been named on Forbes’ 30 under 30 list for their profound and rapid success in their company.
- Michelle Phan: Successful influencer and makeup artist Michelle Phan started blogging when she was 15 years old. Unique to others, Phan didn’t start by building a product or service-based business but instead, established a brand for herself. Today she has nearly 9 million YouTube subscribers and has gone on to build her own brand, Ipsy, which has been valued at $500 million.
While these are just a few examples of the amazing ways that Gen Z and Millennial youth have found non-traditional paths to success, they continue to be inspirational stories for future generations to look up to.
Young people are truly amazing and we should never forget that! From Generation Z to all those that came before, we are learning that our youth are in fact powerful in a range of areas and we should not let their age define them. They are changing how we teach, work, and are building a brighter future for upcoming generations. So the best thing we can do is a guide, support, and assist them on their brand new journey to success—in whatever way they define it.