youth responses to the
COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our world. Now more than ever, changemaking is an essential skill. Young people around the world are stepping up to address the complex challenges posed by the pandemic.

Young Changemakers addressing Covid-19

Manat kaur

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Ashoka Young Changemaker Manat Kaur is the founder of Object, a social venture that promotes confidence in young girls through monthly workshops with female role models. During the pandemic, Manat has organized virtual workshops where young people can engage with female leaders and gain reliable information about COVID-19. She also created Changemakers of the Pandemic, a vodcast spotlighting changemakers leading change during the crisis.


Ashoka Young Changemaker Rere McGanz

At age 10, Rere McGanz opened a community library inside her home in Magelang, Indonesia to promote literacy among young people in her community. When the coronavirus pandemic hit, she and her team launched an online book club through Zoom to empower young people to continue to read and discuss books together during the pandemic.


Sophia Andrews with kids in Kenya

Through her venture Ngoma Kenya, which teaches the arts to children in Kenya, Sophia Andrews and her multi-national team launched a feeding program to provide families in Kenya with food and supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the pandemic began, Ngoma Kenya has served over 3,000 meals and has delivered cleaning supplies to over 100 families.

For more stories of young people addressing the pandemic, check out @ashokayc on Instagram.

CHANGEMAKing From Home



Stuck at home? Check out our changemaking guides for ideas, tips, and resources on how to create change from home.

Want to be a changemaker, but not sure where to start? We’ve compiled over 10 years of research, thought pieces, and resources to help you begin your journey.

Ashoka Fellows responding to the crisis

Ashoka Fellows in 90+ countries are responding to the COVID-19 crisis by envisioning a new norm, engaging citizens as changemakers, and building a new future through collaboration. Check out what our Fellows are doing and follow @ashoka_usa on Instagram for live updates about U.S. based Fellows.


Changemaker Identity

Based on our research, we have found that young people begin to see changemaking as a key part of their identity at this part of the journey.


Young people tend to repeat this step multiple times before moving on to the next stage of the journey.


Youth serving organizations in our network value changemaking culture for their employees as well as the young people they work with.  They help grow changemaker mindsets in their employees and provide opportunities for youth to practice empathy and changemaking at various points in their day.


Ashoka partners with the most innovative corporations ready to co-create a multi-faceted partnership that engages various parts of their business. Ashoka looks for corporations that embrace changemaking culture internally with their employees as well as within their broader business.

Over the years Ashoka Youth Years US has partnered with over 50 corporations to encourage tens of thousands of young people to become changemakers and grow changemaking culture within their businesses.


Ashoka has many media partners that are dedicated to spreading the everyone a changemaker message. Some of our partners are below.

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Forbes logo
The Christian Science Monitor Logo
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Bloomberg News logo

School districts

We live in a world of unprecedented change. How are we preparing students to navigate and contribute to this world? We need to re-imagine education to support teachers, parents, and administrators to prepare students to thrive in their rapidly changing world. Our partner School Districts commit to shifting their culture towards one that embraces changemaking by spending a school year integrating changemaking into the mindsets of their teachers, school curriculum, larger systems, and district culture.

A changemaker identity for educators and superintendents is one that will ensure resilience and creativity to overcome the classroom’s and district’s many obstacles. 

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Ashoka has defined the field of social entrepreneurship around the idea of systems change. Our work as the Youth Years team continues this work by engaging with visionary policy makers at all levels to ensure that the outcomes which lead to an everyone a changemaker world are solidly embedded in the structure and systems of education in ways that support the next generations of changemakers.


The Unions with whom Ashoka works represent hundreds of thousands of nurses, teachers, paraprofessionals, higher education faculty and public employees who work day in and day out to teach our kids, keep our families healthy and improve our communities. Ashoka works closely with our unions partners and the communities they serve to create a future where everyone can discover their power to be a changemaker and where young people learn to thrive in this volatile and rapidly changing world.