I am your future.
We can agree: I am the future. I hold the hope of confronting the problems and insidious challenges that the world now faces. I hold the creativity to invent new paths. I am the keeper of renaissance and reimagination. I will be born with hope. And I refuse to let anyone take that away from me - because of my race, my postal code, my gender, my riches, my orientation. See, these things make me.
See me for who I fully am.
See me not just as a type, or statistic, or a test score, or a cohort. See me as a whole person, with nine decades ahead of me. Who can change, adapt, reimagine, reinvent myself.
I refuse to let a robot steal my job. So, when one does, I must have the capability to uplift myself and do what humans can uniquely do—turn into the next version of me. This is why imagination matters, this is why agency matters, this is why I uniquely matter.
Let me invent my own path.
Have the highest standards for me—even on the days when I don’t think I can reach that high. Encourage me. Coach me. Engage me. Thrill me. Excite me. Provoke me. Test me. But ultimately, realize your job is to help me learn how to learn; what to learn will change a thousand times over, as my life unfolds.
Your job is not to slot me into a path of your choosing: It’s to ensure that I exercise my right to claim my own. My future is mine to invent; it’s not fixed. I can shape it.
Rally around me, my community.
I will learn everywhere. And I will learn from all. My curiosity will not be bound by the classroom, nor my full capability reflected in just what I study in school. This is why I need all you adults to collaborate with each other. When you see me fully—together, you can turn my day into the most engaging, challenging, heartening path. I succeed when the community rises up to meet me. But make no mistake: I am not asking you to shield me from challenge or failure. I need them too to build resilience, grit, and courage.
Above all, start now.
Here is the weird thing about the future: It always seems to be the work of someone else. And that work can be postponed, because the gravity of today’s issue, concerns, problems outweigh investing time thinking about just how big a leap the future will require of us. Most of all, I am writing to urge you to remember: If you can ready the world for me, you will have also readied the world for the future you will live in until your last breath.
Collège du Léman