You’re never too young to change the world.

That’s the idea that eighth-graders at Showalter Middle School are not just seeing, hearing, and experiencing—they are owning. These students have been holding powerful yearlong dialogues in social-studies classes about their role, responsibility, and influence in their school, community, nation, and world; now, it’s time for them to take action. On May 26, teachers Megan Corbin and Emily Tran capped their civics lessons with an Activism Fair in the Showalter library. Local agents of change and representatives from service organizations—including the Washington Legislature, Tukwila churches, environmental agencies, United Way, and youth-justice crusaders—spoke to eighth-graders about their work and what initially inspired them to seek a career in social justice.

“They gave advice to students about how they can get involved as youth and the power they have to create change in their community even at a young age,” Corbin said. “Students loved it and expressed how they wish we would do things like this more often and earlier in the school year.”

The Activism Fair launched the students into their final social-studies project of designing action-based solutions to a cause or issue—large or small—that is important to them. By mid-June, they will combine to perform more than 200 service-oriented projects in Tukwila. The lasting lesson, their teachers hope, is that they are empowered to be the change they want to see in the world, right now even at a young age.

Activism Fair 2017