After all is said and done, the effectiveness of Do Something should be judged by its own guidelines. Is it having a measurable impact on the young people it seeks to inspire?
In past years, Do Something has contracted Brandeis University's Center for Youth and Communities to conduct an independent evaluation of Do Something's impact. Educators assessed their students' growth on leadership, citizenship, and character skills, alongside academic-skill development, through assessment tools provided by Do Something. The results, collected and analyzed by Brandeis University, document the impact:
- 91 percent of young people involved in Do Something become more self-confident.
- 87 percent say that Do Something events increase student and staff morale.
- 77 percent say Do Something increases parental and community involvement at school.
- 61 percent see an increase in academic performance and a reduction in school discipline problems.
So Do Something is obviously doing something right. It’s really inspiring young people to step up and lead, not just paying lip service to "youth leadership" and then training teachers and other adults. It has stayed true to Guideline number one: Kids Lead.
Do Something has come a long way from its initial founding in the early 1990s. A decade ago, it had offices all around the country, held meetings and trained people to go out and reach young people. But the Internet changed everything. The group was able to streamline its operations, become a true not-for-profit Internet company, and go online to motivate young people to take action offline.
Moving forward, Do Something is about to explode. It is reaching more and more young people, generating more and more interest, unleashing more and more creative ideas for community change. It wants to create a new type of celebrity, someone who is honored for what he or she does instead of what he or she wears. It’s creating rock stars of social change and getting these people in front of a larger audience, where their stories and achievements can inspire a whole new generation of do-ers.
Because young people are not the leaders of tomorrow, they are the leaders of today.
For more information on Do Something, check out the helpful links on the following page.