by Mella Noir | Featured Contributor
Ever met a 16 year old that started changing the world when she was 12?
When she was just 12, she was inspired by her older sister Camille, who was a writer for a documentary on hunger. She drew the now famous “Donate, Don’t Dump” logo of a fork, spoon and knife combined with recycling while discussing the documentary over dinner with her family.
Fast forward four years later, this teen is pushing for bills in Sacramento, has been featured in People Magazine, is a writer for Huffington Post, as well as running weekly community food collections that donate good food to hungry families in her community. She has saved over 800, 000 pounds of food from going to waste, and also has inspired a whole new legion of children and youth in her community to follow in her footsteps.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Gabrielle for my podcast “Clink, Chat & Catch Up! and today we got back together to share a few ideas, so simple to Gabrielle, but so powerful for our adult ears, eyes and hearts.
Here are 10 important lessons a 16 year old taught me, and you should learn too:
1. People rise to the occasion when you give them a chance.
2. It takes one voice to initiate change, but a community to truly make something happen.
3. Learn to pick your own personal values and prioritize what’s important to you.
4. There’s no age requirement on making a difference.
5. A phone call > an email.
6. Don’t read off the PowerPoint.
7. Public speaking isn’t nerve wracking when you know what you’re talking about.
8. If you show people how passionate you are about something, they will more than likely help.
9. The largest problems can sometimes have the simplest solutions.
10. Donate, don’t dump!
What I also learned from Gabrielle, is that the initiative to help others can begin from a thought, turn into action, and can grow into a huge, life changing collective. Her feeling empathy at the dinner table and having the temerity to make a change happen meant that thousands and thousands of people in the community have gotten the food they need desperately, that would have gone to waste. She is truly a marvel and we will stay tuned for what she does in her 20’s! Inspiring all of us, and showing that above all, age has nothing to do with ability.
Thanks for the lessons, Gabrielle!