The It Gets Better Project, headed up by columnist and TV personality Dan Savage, took social media to another level; it sparked a movement that read compassion and humanity to those struggling to come to terms with their sexuality. Jason Pollock, filmmaker and now director of Undroppable, seeks to recreate this success but with a different goal in mind: to reform education policy and bring attention to teenagers that have not allowed themselves to fall through the cracks of the American education system.
Aspiring to make a Kony-esque impact in both high school classrooms and the chambers of Congress, Undroppable is a video series turned YouTube campaign that targets both Millennials and their older counterparts. As my fellow blogger Nathan Chen pointed out in his latest blog,”there’s a lot that (can) be accomplished” with other generations. Baby boomers and Generation Xers are our allies; the older generations are our lifeline to Congress, along with goals of education reform and college affordability.
Yet there’s not one social media campaign out there that’s making this collaboration seem popular or even possible. Undroppable is answering the call with an aggressive campaign that presents touching stories of overcoming obstacles and a mission to have intelligent discussion surrounding the ultimate questions: What is wrong with education in America and why can’t we fix it?
When President Barack Obama slow jammed the news with Jimmy Fallon last April, he was advocating an initiative that would keep interest rates for Stafford student loans from rising. While many Millennials realize the importance of keeping the cost of student loans as low as possible, this action by the most powerful politician there is represents a growing trend in America. Education reform is consistently on the defensive. Rather than creating legislation that makes higher education more affordable for Millennials and future generations, politicians are put in the position of acting complacently on the behalf of young people. Insteading of raising the quality of the education system, they can only attempt to maintain the meager status quo.
That’s where Undroppable and the Kony 2012 philosophy come into play. Although the highly criticized video was more of a chaotic spectacle than anything else, Invisible Children inspired millions of young people to contact state representatives and other powerful individuals to support funding for increased efforts to arrest Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony.
Taking on the same aggressive personality of the Kony 2012 campaign, Undroppable has a clear and unabashed mission: Our generation is the one most affected by the rising cost of higher education and the increasing high school dropout rate. So why don’t we do something about it?
We should be the ones tweeting about education policy, the rising dropout rate and why Millennials shouldn’t lose faith in education’s ability to propel them towards success. If youth care enough about a Ugandan war criminal to fill the inboxes of politicians and other public figures with pleas for support, we should have enough passion about our fellow Millennials and future generations to raise awareness about Undroppable and attempts made by politicians to reform education.
Before legislation can be signed into law and America’s faulty education system can begin to change, Millennials need a place to make their voice heard, loud and clear. Undroppable makes the dream of reforming the American education system seem possible. Now, the question is: Will Millennials and older generations jump on board and make this goal go viral?
Haley Samsel is a Featured Blogger for Mobilize.org’s The Millennial Report. She is a high school sophomore who lives in Plano, Texas, which gives her a pretty unique view (in her opinion) on politics and Millennial issues. Outside of the Millennial Report, Haley enjoys playing basketball, reading biographies and watching cooking competition shows, among other things.