Young people should be working on projects that directly serve the people they seek to help.
While there is benefit to a second order change project like raising money for a cause, raising awareness etc… it’s nowhere near as impactful as a first order project.
When you can look the user in the eyes and say, “I made this for you” everything changes. You either have a tremendously empowering experience when it works and what you built matters to them. Or you have a transformational learning experience where you realize that what they want and what you thought they want are two different things.
The big distinction here is that the empathetic exchange happens between the creator and the user. Not between the creator and the donor, or the social media channel. The first order change project is all about making the feedback loop tangible and meaningful.
Encourage young people to connect with an audience and serve them directly. There’s nothing better for their personal and professional learning.