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As a SADD student, I'm sure you have heard someone talk about empowerment before. Youth empowerment is a concept that the youth should take charge of their own lives and this will hopefully foster into their outside environment. So how do we, as the youth, become empowered and allow it to flourish into the environment surrounding us? Empowerment is a different look on everyone. I feel empowered after an exhilarating win at one of my lacrosse matches, but that does not mean you would feel the same. We can all take some universal steps to empower ourselves, whether it’s out on the field or in the classroom.

  1. Taking care of your mind and body is a great first step. Eating a nutritious breakfast and allowing yourself 8 hours of sleep every night is a great start. Being kind to yourself will allow an overall more positive outlook on life, creating confidence in what you do.

  2. Find your passion. You will never be able to feel empowered when you are chasing a dream that is not fulfilling. Even if you think no soul in the world will rally with you, take the chance. People naturally are more attracted to activities when someone is passionate about them. When you believe in something, being empowered will come easy.

  3. Set goals. What is the timeline that you wish to work towards? Is there an overall end goal? By allowing yourself a set-in-stone achievement plan, you are disciplining yourself into committing to it.

  4. Positive thoughts. No great mind got where they are by always being down on themselves. Raise yourself up with positive affirmations and self-love. While you're at it, raise others up along with you. Being kind feels great. Your kindness could have empowered another person, too!

  5. Take action. You are so close! Taking action in something you want to do shows not only yourself but others around you that you are serious about your goals. The actions you take will have an effect on everyone around you, so make them positive!

Think creatively about how you can be empowered. For example, this year’s NRSF #DrivingSkills101 PSA Challenge was focused on passenger empowerment. Do you feel confident enough to speak up if you are in the car with a risky driver? If the driver is doing something to put you or others in danger, will you use your voice to stop them? Consider making this your next goal, and use the above tips to achieve passenger empowerment!

Bonus: Check out the winning PSA from the NRSF #DrivingSkills101 Challenge!

Empowerment almost sounds like an abstract concept when just reading it on paper, but with some goals in mind anything can be accomplished. Empowerment, put simply, is finding the confidence in yourself to take charge. Empowerment is a different look on everyone, and it always will be. Once you take the initiative to become empowered, you can spread this through your peers, friends, and community. Remember, you are the future. It is up to us, as the youth, to create the world that we want to live in. That starts with us finding the drive within ourselves, sharing it with others, and being kind to all. Find your passion and share it with the world. SADD Nation is a great place to start.

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