Taking the lead in advocacy

Posted on July 21, 2015

Taking the lead in advocacy

Taylor Tinsley is pictured in front of Cannon House Office Building.

By Taylor Tinsley

When I was 16 years old, I founded The Maria Joy Foundation. The organization promotes child adoption awareness, promotes literacy, and raises funds for foster children in my community. Though my focus is on foster youth, it stems from my passion for education and children’s rights. My overall focus has been to provide educational resources to those children who need it most. It saddens me that factors such as a child not having a permanent family, or living in a developing country, affects a child’s natural right to an education. I have done a lot of research on international child adoption, but I felt I needed more research on international education. I wanted to learn new ways to connect my passion for foster youth to global education, which encouraged me to apply for this training program.

When I learned I was accepted to attend the Global Campaign for Education Youth Advocacy Training, I was both excited and nervous. I have always had a passion for youth education but I had limited knowledge of education on a global scale. After attending the training, my mind has been opened to so many new concepts. The training sessions and the other attendees have inspired me to take my passion for education and foster youth to the next level.

The sessions educated me on the countless factors that hinder children worldwide from receiving an education. One fact that resonated with me the most is how there are more girls out of school than boys, and how some countries deny education for girls. The sessions made me realize how much I have taken school for granted. If it weren’t for my education, I would not have been given the opportunity to attend this training. The information in the sessions had me outraged, yet they influenced to make a difference.

The session that I appreciated the most was about how to take my knowledge back to my community. Global education is such a broad issue, and I was unsure on where to begin. The session leaders helped me find ways to get others in my community aware and involved. Doing something as little as writing letters to state and national leaders can make all the difference to those suffering overseas.  The youth advocacy training has not only educated me on issues, but has helped me evolve into an advocate who is ready to take a stand for those who cannot stand for themselves.

I cherish the people I have met and the connections I have made. It is always great to find young leaders who are just as passionate as you are. I believe it is time to find new leaders in our communities, and invite them on our journey to provide education for all. 

Taylor Tinsley is a rising sophomore at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan pursuing a degree in Educational Studies. She is an alumni of the Summer 2015 Youth Advocacy Training. 

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