Tips

Still wondering how to get started? This is where we'll post tips about using our database, developing your project, and anything else you are wondering about! Feel free to contact us with topics you'd like us to cover.

1. 5 Steps to Solving Real World Problems

2. How to Use Our Database

Our database has lots of resources, but sometimes they can be overwhelming! Here are some tips for getting started with your project.

  • First, take a look at resources that say they cover multiple social issues. Often, these websites have information on these topics, project ideas, and action guides, which can really help you figure out what you’d like to focus on.
  • Discuss your ideas with a friend, teacher, parent/guardian, or other person you trust. They can help you figure out what you’d like to do, and maybe even help you get started!
  • Explore many different social issues, and what is being done about them already in your community and beyond. That way, you’ll be able to gain a wide perspective and find an issue that really resonates with you.

If you’re still feeling stuck, don’t hesitate to contact us for tips or advice! We're here to help.

3. How to Make Your Project Powerful

Whether you’re starting a business or writing an op-ed for your local newspaper, there’s a few things you can almost always do to make your project more powerful.

  • Get other people involved. This is the single most important thing for any project: it will allow you to extend your impact and draw on the ideas and perspectives of many people. You will, of course, have to do the work yourself, but taking the time to seek contributions and feedback of other youth, experienced adults, or even organizations can really elevate your project.
  • Clearly and confidently communicate your ideas. Not only will this help people understand you, but they’ll be more inclined to help out.
  • Be organized. Have a schedule of what you’d like to do when, and stick to it.
  • Be knowledgeable about the topics you’re working on. Having a good understanding of the background behind your project will help you gain credibility.
  • Be open to criticism and collaboration.

Many of the resources in our database can help you with these skills!

4. Creating an Action Plan

See a problem in the world you think needs to change? These questions will guide you in creating your action plan.

  1. My interests
    • What issues do I care about (e.g. people in my neighborhood are hungry, kids in Africa are missing school)?
    • What are my interests/hobbies (e.g. playing soccer, watercolor painting)?
    • How much time do I have?
  2. My resources
    • Use the database to find resources relevant to you. Use the space below to record ones that you think could be particularly helpful. Keep in mind that it may be helpful to search for additional background information about your issue.
  3. My Networks
    • What people do I know who could help me? Is there anyone who might be interested in working with me? What organizations exist in my community that approach my issue(s) of interest?
  4. Now combine everything!

You’ve listed your interests, and the resources that can help you. Now, your task is to consider: how could I combine these opportunities to create positive change? Here are your next steps:

  • Check out the websites you listed, and do any additional background research you need. Contact us if you’re having trouble finding what you’re looking for, and check out our "Map" page for inspiration!
  • Make a plan, and set a schedule. You don’t have to have an idea yet, but think about how you could leverage your resources and combine your interests. What will you do, and when?
  • Reach out to your networks to see what ideas and feedback they have for you. Even if they don’t have anything to say, they can help hold you accountable for following through.
  • Let us know how it went!