Learn to support your teen’s innovative ideas in this post sponsored by the T-Mobile Changemakers Challenge.
When my daughter was a tiny little girl, she had a big imagination. I used to love to watch her create entire worlds with her dolls and other toys.
If she didn’t have toys, anything would do. A pen would become a person. A piece of string would be a mountain. There was no limit to what she could create with whatever she had on hand.
Now that she’s older, not much has changed. She is still constantly thinking of new ways to stretch herself, learn new skills, and become a person who gives rather than just consume what other people create.
My daughter has a lot of ideas
Whether it’s her newfound joy of bullet-journaling, or recording and editing videos around various topics, my daughter has a ton of ideas!
Some of her ideas are strictly for fun and entertainment. Her YouTube channel is a reflection of that. She makes videos around her favorite video game, and has built a small and mighty community on that platform already.
Other ideas are about service and how to make life better for other folks. Like her plan to organize a book drive event where the kids at her school donate books they’ve outgrown and she distributes them in neighborhoods where schools are still closed down.
Not everything she thinks up comes to fruition. Every idea isn’t one that’s feasible. But I like to see her try. And I encourage it a lot.
How to support your Teen’s CreaTive Thinking
The biggest lesson I learned about supporting my daughter and her creative thinking is that it’s okay to let her figure things out on her own.
She can do the research, testing, and planning without me butting in.
Giving her space to determine how (or if) she needs help shows that I honor her ability to do something awesome on her own.
If you want to support your teen as they test out new ideas, be supportive, but don’t smother. Stick around to help them out when they ask, but be careful of taking over.
About the T-Mobile Changemaker Challenge
Do you have a super creative teen who is interested in making change in the way we connect? Encourage them to apply for the T-Mobile Changemaker Challenge for a chance to win funding and mentorship to execute and grow their idea.
It makes sense, right? T-Mobile has been a changemaker in the wireless space since the beginning with their Un-carrier stance. They believe in the power of the next generation and are committed to helping teens advance their work.
So, what is The Changemaker Challenge?
The Changemaker Challenge is a nationwide contest that offers youth ages 13 to 18 with innovative ideas around creating connected, sustainable and informed communities the opportunity to receive seed funding and mentorship to grow their ventures. T-Mobile is looking for ideas – big or small – that drive social change in one of three categories: Technology, the Environment or Education.
In 2019, 428 teams entered the challenge and shared ideas and projects on everything from apps to mental health challenge solutions, gun violence prevention, and more. This year, T-Mobile is looking for 15 ideas from youth ages 13-18 that focus on Technology, the Environment and Education. The goal is to create more connected, sustainable and inclusive communities.
The application window to apply is open now through April 8. In May, T-Mobile will announce the top 15 teams, and they’ll be invited to T-Mobile HQ in July (TBC pending CDC recommendations) for a three-day Changemaker Lab.
Here’s what winning teams will receive:
- Each of the top 15 teams receives $5k seed funding from the T-Mobile Foundation and other prizes
- Three teams (one from each category) will receive an additional $5k and the chance to pitch their idea to T-Mobile executives.
- One Grand-Prize-Winning team will be announced during the lab and will win an additional $5k ($15k total) and 1:1 mentorship to help supercharge their project!