World Population Day: raising awareness of global youth issues

Did you know the world’s population—which has now surpassed 7 billion people—was only 2.5 billion people as recently as 1950? With such growth comes various social challenges, so the United Nations spends every July 11th honoring World Population Day to raise awareness about these issues. This year, the UN seeks to highlight the struggles faced by the world’s youth and the importance of investing in the biggest youth generation the world has ever seen because:

Today’s 1.8 billion young people are shaping social and economic realities, challenging norms and values, and building the foundation of the world’s future. Yet too many young people continue to grapple with poverty, inequality and human rights violations that prevent them from reaching their personal and collective potential.

Student editors in Dr. Darcie Vandegrift’s Global Youth Studies course at Drake University know too well the problems plaguing youth around the world. Student editors Plumbla and Court caitlin drastically improved the article about youth unemployment, which was only a two-sentence stub before their assignment. Student editor AbbeyMaynard worked on the article about street children to increase coverage about homeless children around the world, and student editors Ellieb281 and Susan2016 took another angle on this assignment and expanded the article about youth activism to show the change young people can bring to the world themselves.

These students are doing their own part to raise awareness of social issues by editing Wikipedia. Just these three articles have had a combined audience of 276,160 readers since they improved them during the spring 2013 term.

Jami Mathewson
Program Manager


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