Before starting the Association of Young Americans, Ben Brown held a political opinion on issues; but he wasn't necessarily the most vocal. He was political, only to the point where he voted.
So starting a political platform that lobby's on the behalf of young Americans so that they get their voice heard in the political arena, wasn't high on his agenda.
He had been working in clean energy and for a non-profit, but had been thinking about his idea for AYA for quite some time. He got his ideas onto paper for the organization, read a lot about AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) and the NRA (National Rifle Association) because they are the strongest lobbying organizations in America, so that he could get a clear picture on how to form and rally support for a young people group.
The funny thing that he noticed, is that every issue is a young person's issue. Whether it's something being lobbied on behalf of retired individuals or not, it's often affects youth. And no one was listening to their voice and opinions in the past.
One of the main issues that hasn't been addressed is student debt and higher education. American's own $1.4 trillion in student loan debt, spread out among 44 million borrowers. They're also bringing to the forefront, topics like climate change, political equality and criminal justice, that youth are extremely passionate about.
His vision is to hold those elected, accountable and focused on the future that young people want to see. And AYA does this in two ways. They lobby on behalf of those that are apart of the organization and they provide them with weekly updates on issues they are working on.
The hardest part has been getting the word out by AYA. Although they've gotten press in places like VICE, Refinery 29 and The Huffington Post, there's still a lot of work to be done. Having a platform where young people contribute, mobilize and actually change the future is really a new concept in the political space - although it may seem normal, it hasn't been.
It's time the lobbying industry feel a bit of disruption to their 3 billion dollar strong hold. The system is designed to maintain the status quo in America, and AYA is looking to shake things up.
SOME QUESTIONS I ASKED:
- Where did the inspiration for AYA come from?
- Were you always involved and interested in politics?
- What were you doing before founding AYA?
- What was the turning point in your life?
- Why did you feel so passionate about creating a voice for youth in the political space?
- How do you want to make AYA different from other lobbying groups?
- What are the biggest problems facing young Americans these days?
- What does growth look like for your organization since Trump came into power?
- What type of funding do you depend on for survival?
- And so much more...
WHAT YOU'LL LEARN:
- How AYA creates partnerships with brands to promote awareness of their organization
- How Ben is working on creating a movement
- How he plans on addressing the biggest issues young Americans are facing
- How he's educating voters on issues affecting them
- How he's trying to create a future that will support the voice of young Americans
- His 5 year goals and vision for AYA
- And lots more...
- Mountains of the Mind: Adventures In Reaching The Summit by Robert MacFarlane
- The Association of Young Americans
CONNECT WITH AYA
ENJOY THE PODCAST?
Feel inspired? If you know anyone who would enjoy this episode, please share this link with them. The more inspired people our world has, the happier a place it will be. Just click the share button on the left side of the screen and let's spread these stories and messages. Feel free to leave a comment below and share your thoughts- I'd love to know what you think.
SPREAD LOVE AND KINDNESS, DTN CREW!
** BE SURE TO FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL AND JOIN THE INSIDER CREW FOR UPDATES **
Edited by: James Nicholson