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The age of limelight and the pursuit of a "like"

Today's young people, want spot light, they crave for recognition and showcase who they are, what they are doing and always wanting to be the current topic of the hour. Being popular is cool and a well recognized social status. Social media today, allows them to showcase their personality, activities and everything else that could make them popular. The like button enables it all. We need to build on this idea of attracting and engaging the youth in the mentoring program, but giving them back "a path to popularity", in the means that makes sense to them, in their terms and in their language.

Photo of Murali Selvan
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Today's youth, especially aged 15-24 is passionate about earning an identity for themselves, persistently craving for attention and wanting to showcase the world  -all about who they are, what they are up to. The empire of social media is all built on this simple mantra - the urge to share and enable others to like you, your actions.

Lets also look at what appeals to this group. This age group, definitely enjoys popular TV shows, especially talent shows like american idol, dancing with the stars and similar which involves voting, engagement through social media.

The analogous model would be to combine the power of social media and engagement model similar to these talent shows.We need to approach the youth by providing them tools, social media support and a platform for- where they can sense similar elements like the above mentioned.

What if a group of young people mentor and enroll their adult mentee, into a talent competition.  The mentor will spend time and teach a particular skill and will enroll in an applicable competition. The competition as it progresses will be posted on social media, including details like a mentor page and a video on how he/she trained the older adult. This will give the young person what he/she needs - recognition on his social network and he/she is engaged throughout the competition. Competition should span like a TV season, with various days. The mentor will also need to campaign and gather votes for his/her trainee's work in progress. This will also improve their relationship and will give a sense of recognition for both.

The young people will be able to relate to this more and will appreciate the value of mentoring as they get into the program and see results. Tools like social media, recognition are just means to engage them.

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Photo of Ashley Jablow

Excellent thought-starters as we start teasing out who 15-24 year-olds really are! Be sure to hold on to your idea as we move toward the Ideas phase in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, do you know any 15-24 year-olds you could talk to about your Research post and get their reactions to your thoughts? You could also check out the challenge's Interview Toolkit http://bit.ly/1npWYPO for some inspiration on how to kickstart that conversation. I'll be curious to hear what you come up with.

Photo of Murali Selvan

Thanks Ashley! I have spread the word in my network, hoping to interview a few in coming days. I will see what they think of my idea.

Photo of Ashley Jablow

That's great to hear. Looking forward to hearing your updates!

Photo of Murali Selvan

I was able to speak to a nephew of a friend. He is 18 years old and he sent me this response on what he thinks of my idea on this page :
"I think it is a great, let me know if you start such a program, I would be interested."

I also asked him the questions from the interview toolkit. He shared some useful insight on why he likes to be a mentor. its quite lengthy - but let me know where to share that. Happy to add here or create another research contribution.

Photo of Ashley Jablow

Nice work Murali! If you haven't already, be sure to post your friend's responses to the Interview Toolkit in a new Research post. That way everyone can read it easily and comment on your learnings. Looking forward to seeing it!

Photo of Murali Selvan

Thanks Ashley. I just submitted another contribution with the interview answers.

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