Global Issues TEDx

Daring greatly and acting boldly: Chelsea Clinton challenges youth to rise to the occasion

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Chelsea Clinton has some advice for those with the greatest potential to become change-makers — the young. At TEDxTeen, held in New York City on March 16, Clinton delivered this bold talk, saying that despite negative assumptions, today’s youth are in a unique position to do good. Teens today have big advantages over those who are older, says Clinton: they are more likely to take risks, they lack deeply engrained biases and they are digital natives. As a result, millennials — those coming of age in the 21st century — are more likely to be confident, connected and open to change. This makes for vast potential.

So how can teens harness it? Clinton says that it’s a matter of finding what you’re passionate about and then not being afraid to try it — because you never know how great your impact could be. Clinton challenges young people to “dare greatly and act boldly,” because “the worst thing that happens in life,” as they say in the Clinton family, “is that you get caught trying.”

Clinton’s talk is especially salient, as she hosted the Clinton Global Initiative University last weekend. At CGI U, a thousand college students with a desire to serve others gathered to innovate solutions for problems on both the global and local scale — and to make commitments to act upon them.

Clinton tells Parade Magazine that she was inspired to host the event by her grandmother, Dorothy Rodham. “She would always say life is not about what happens;” says Clinton, “it’s about what you do with what happens to you.” Rodham challenged her granddaughter to strive to live with a greater consciousness for helping others, even though Clinton naturally shies away from the spotlight. “[My grandma] thought I wasn’t doing enough with the opportunity I’d been given to be Chelsea Clinton,” she tells the magazine.