25 young people making noise for social progress

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Yara Shahidi

Yara Shahidi may be known for her work on Blackish and its spinoff Grownish, but she, like many other celebrities, has used her fame to be a powerful voice for social progress.

Shahidi has spoken out about diversity in Hollywood, education for girls and more. She formed Yara’s Club with The Young Women’s Leadership School, which has high school students talk about social issues and learn how to make change; she’s worked on Michelle Obama’s Let Girls Learn program; she even founded Eighteen X 18 with NowThis, which encourages young people to vote. She also got the opportunity to interview Hillary Clinton for Teen Vogue.

Thanks to her activism, Shahidi got a letter of recommendation from Michelle Obama. That letter totally paid off, and Shahidi got accepted to Harvard. She deferred her acceptance, but she does plan to go and study sociology and African American studies.

And though Shahidi clearly already has a lot on her plate, she plans to continue to fight with her generation for social progress. And you just know we’ll be seeing a lot more of her in the future.

“Our generation realizes that age has never been a limit in terms of social activity, and being able to look back at the civil rights movement and you see that it does not matter how old you are to get engaged,” she said during an interview with Oprah. “If anything, it is so important to make it our mission, especially if you have the privilege to do so, to be socially aware and to help our global community.”

Next: 20 LGBTQ stories with upbeat endings

Reading about these young activists definitely gives us hope for 2018 … and beyond.