Youth Pastors and Church Leaders: Read the article out loud to your students. Get their reactions to the stories mentioned and ask them to share a few stories of their own. Be sure to celebrate their hard work and generosity! Use the questions below to help your students dream big about their potential to make a difference!
With high-school bullying and drug use on the rise, it’s no wonder today’s teens get a bad rap. Of course, we all know there’s much more going on behind the scenes than the media outlets care to tell.
That’s why we asked Dave’s Facebook fans to weigh in on the topic. We’d love to share their stories of teens that are a tad different than what we see on the news. Forget celebrity idols! Follow in the footsteps of the students below and the next teen role model might just be you!
“My daughter is 12 and is saving for her first car in a few years. She's seen me as a single mother working five jobs to reach my goals. She knows that she wants to be able to have a great car when she turns 16, and she is working towards that goal!” —Carrie
“My younger brother is in high school and is already an accomplished composer and musician, and he continues to grow his skills in all of those areas. He also is learning the skill of making musical instruments (violin, viola, cello so far). He performs with college and community orchestras and has had his composed pieces played by those groups.” —Matt
“My sister-in-law is just out of high school and wanting to make it through college debt free; she works as many hours as she can get in the summer and in her spare time volunteers at several places in our home town. She has worked so hard to achieve her goal and graduate college with her CPA. She has saved enough to get through her first two years with no loans. I am very proud of her hard work.” —Kelly
"My little brothers who are 14 and 13 have been collecting cans from neighbors and different people we know and cashing them in for money to buy livestock for people in India. They have been very faithful with it and have been able to buy quite a few animals.” —Lauren
“Alex from Wichita, Kansas, is 18 years old and started a group, Restore Hope, Inc., with the goal of getting an old amusement park up and running again. Just recently he got accepted by the IRS to be a nonprofit. Even though the odds are against him, he is working hard on his dream. Having an amusement park in Wichita again would mean a lot to our residents and strengthen our sense of pride in our community. Alex understands this at his young age.” —Sara
”4 Girls 4 Christ is an amazing group of four teenage girls who have dedicated their young lives to raising money to help people adopt children with Down Syndrome (so they can do it DEBT FREE!).” —Sierra
“My daughter, Shelby, is 14 and battles a neuro-inflammatory disease called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD). This year, she has gone from a volleyball player to wheelchair user—yet she runs support groups for adults with pain disorders, volunteers to throw a special needs prom every year for 300 people, shares her testimony about living as a godly teen with a disability, and works part time, saving her money. Plus she is known in Texas by politicians for being outspoken about health care—and she is 14!!! She is amazing and fundraising and saving!” —Sara
“My stepson, soon to be 14, bought a lawnmower two years ago for $15 at a yard sale. Since then, he earned the money to purchase all of his own hockey gear, paid for one year of hockey lessons, and due to his ambition, won two $250 scholarships to play on his first hockey team. Not to mention he struggles with Asperger's syndrome! Not too bad in my book. In a world of entitlement-minded kids, he seems like a four-leafed clover.” —Steven
“My 17-year-old daughter, Jordan, has Stargardt’s disease and lives each day to the fullest. She helps with her younger sister (age 9), she is a National Honor Society student who helps anyway she can at school, and she works at Pizza Hut. She keeps a positive attitude even though she fights hurting eyes every day of her life. She wants to get a degree in nutrition/personal training. I love how she uses this disease as an opportunity to grow and encourage everyone in her life rather than an excuse to not succeed!” —Christina
Maybe you’re already changing the world around you. If you’ve made a difference—big or small—we’d love to hear about it! Share your story in the comments below.
Questions to Ask
This fall teach your teens what God says about money with the all new Generation Change featuring Dave’s daughter Rachel Cruze!
Find local professionals that Dave recommends for: