Earlier in 2015 we were contacted by 17-year-old Will Friend of Boston who was completely fired up about doing something to inspire his generation to at least talk about if not solve some of our most pressing global problems. Exploration and engagement seemed to him the best way to approach his need to do, and his research lead him to Ted Simon (jupitalia.com, tedsimonfoundation.org) and then to us.
After reading his draft thoughts we scheduled a Skype call with Will, and that convinced us that this young person had the writing talent and drive and personality to make it happen, so we flew him out to Overland Expo to meet fellow adventurers and glean some tips on how to turn travel into a conversation for change.
His project "The American Teenage Experience" is now underway, with a simple goal, expressed on Will's Maptia page:
Exploration is the most important theme of my generation.
Beyond the enduring exploration of one’s own identity, this generation of youth must embrace the exploration of the identities of those we are unfamiliar with in order to meet the challenges and realize the opportunities of our ever smaller world.
My mission is simple: Explore the Nation I call home, and the lives of my peers who reside within it. My methods are simpler: Ride Amtrak from New Orleans to New York City this July. Ask 10 questions of the teenagers I encounter along the way, in interviews of approximately 20 minutes.
Do you know a teen who can meet up with Will along his route? Please visit his project page for the link to the interview signup form.
ConserVentures, our sister charity funded in part by Overland Expo profits, is providing a small grant for the project.