Social Activism in Action: The Satell Teen Fellows Commitment Projects

Young people invested in social activism is always inspiring. Since its inception almost nine years ago, the Satell Teen Fellowship for Leadership and Social Activism has trained more than 150 teens to “find your voice and make a difference only you can”. One program requirement is a dedicated project addressing a societal issue that each Fellow chooses. On Wednesday evening this year’s Fellowship cohort presented their projects.

The families attending were impressed with the breadth and depth of the Fellows efforts. Several had taken a personal avocation and focused it on a community challenge. One Fellow began to “run for a cause”, raising awareness on the need for autism research. Another used his love for the sport of ultimate Frisbee to reach out to other teens and teach “positive competition” while raising funds and awareness of several nonprofits. One creative Fellow was hosting an online auction of beautiful free- trade craft items to benefit impoverished families in Africa. Their presentations were engaging and inspiring.

Each Fellow had thoughtfully discerned an impact effort, had done research, and had created a project. They had supported each other throughout the process, using the peer coaching and leadership skills they developed throughout their Fellow year. They learned to “think we, not me” as Fellowship Founder Ed Satell had suggested to them. Several were proud they had inspired peers at their schools to step outside the “usual position of not thinking one kid can really change things”.

When the Satell Teen Fellowship Program was first envisioned by Ed Satell, he recognized that teens need to be trained and encouraged to be both leaders and social activists. The commitment project requirement was created to address both needs Aaron M, speaking to the guests on behalf of the Fellows, observed that the Fellows now truly understand the meaning of “no man is an island”. They have been taught, encouraged and challenged to create a unique vision for the greater good, and given the skills to go after that dream. He said simply: “We will always be Satell Teen Fellows.”


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