Navigating together: How Turning Tides supports and connects young changemakers
When embarking on her path as an ocean advocate and artist, Jasmine Rodman found herself in uncharted waters. Networking, developing website, managing social media, and even the delicate art of balancing academics, employment, and activism were skills she had to self-learn. The prospect of seeking assistance appeared daunting. She confides, “I hesitated to admit my need for learning, fearing it might curtail opportunities or lead people to question my competence.”
Over the years, Jasmine, in her role as an ocean advocate, had the privilege of connecting with numerous youth leaders across the globe through her involvement with organizations like Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs, World Ocean Day, and the National Geographic Society. Conversations with these fellow young activists revealed that her initial uncertainty wasn’t unique. Jasmine soon realized that feelings of burnout, frustration, and bewilderment were not isolated to her journey; they were shared experiences among youth activists. She emphasizes, “What resonated most with me, and what I consistently heard from other young advocates, was the sense of isolation in this work. Everyone I spoke to seemed to believe they were the sole individuals grappling with these emotions.”
With the backing of the National Geographic Society, Jasmine embarked on a mission to create a resource that could support novices navigating the challenging terrain of youth advocacy. She states, “This project embodies what I yearned for when I started and what I require even now—a resource to continuously impart essential skills, showcase the diverse paths to advocacy and remind us that it’s perfectly normal to feel lost at times.”
The culmination of her efforts is “Turning Tides,” a comprehensive website crafted by young people for young people. The site houses an array of freely accessible toolkits offering concise, practical guidance on skills often expected from young individuals but seldom formally taught. These webpages feature insights from some of the world’s preeminent changemakers, spanning topics from “Balancing Work and School” to “Leveraging Art for Advocacy.” Turning Tides aims to guide young people through every facet of their journey, from mastering networking to pivoting their projects. With wisdom from some of the planet’s most influential youth changemakers, commencing and sustaining advocacy work becomes more straightforward and transparent, one mini-toolkit at a time.
Jasmine conveys a message to all young changemakers: “To those who are tirelessly striving and giving their best, your contributions are invaluable and sought after. Hopefully, Turning Tides can foster mutual support as we persist in creating positive change in the world.”
Access Turning Tides at www.turningtidespod.com