Inspiration.  It’s the latest buzz at the office, at least when we’re talking about blogging.   Google “choosing blog topics”.  You’ll see the same best practice repeated over and over again: pick a topic about which you’re passionate.  This advice was echoed by Windsor Hanger, President and Publisher of, during SWSG’s first Strong Blogging Corps Webinar.
So now, here I sit, waiting for the inspiration lightning bolt to strike.  Pouring through article after article, I’m bombarded with messages of violence, poverty and the occasional pop cultural tid-bit.  Then, where I least expect it, buried amidst the headlines, between  “Mariah expecting boy & girl” and “World’s largest bear ever found” (okay, okay, I’ll admit it, an 11 foot, 3,500 pound Argentinian bear is impressive, but not quite the inspiration for which I am searching), I find it.
The Root’s Young Futurists List of 25 Innovators.  A list of 25 amazing, and yes, inspiring youth making positive difference in their, in our, communities.  The list includes 17 year old Stephanie Asante.  A Ghanaian immigrant who transformed a seventh grade class project into a nonprofit, Born From Love.  Born from Love provides supplies to an orphanage in Ghana.  Stephanie and her Co-President Nshira Turkson are now working to secure scholarship opportunities for the orphanage.  The list includes Tiffany Dinkins.  At 16, she was published in the American Journal of Human Genetics.  The list includes Zora Howard. At age 13, she was the youngest person to win the Urban NYC Grand Slam finals.

How’s that for inspiration?  Inspired to be further inspired, I move on to the Glamour Top 10 College Women Competition. The 2010 College Women include Maya Moore.  Maya led the UConn women’s basketball in setting a NCAA Division I record of 78 consecutive wins, was the first freshman, male or female, to be named Player of the Year, is a solid scholar and mentors other student athletes.  They include Sophia Khawly.  At 14, Sophia founded Hope For Haiti’s Children to build schools in Haiti.  They include Mackenzie Lowry.  In 2007, after losing her father to cancer, Mackenzie successfully advocated for a cigarette state tax increase.  In 2003, they included SWSG Founder and President Lindsay Hyde!
Reading about these incredible young women reminds me of a Chuck Close quote, “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work.”
These young women are showing up. They are getting to work.  And well, Chuck, for all us amateurs out there, they are an inspiration.  They are that bolt of lightning striking us in the brain. Inspiring us to show up. To get to work.  To make a difference.  In the very least, they are my inspiration to write this post.
For those other youth who may need a little more inspiration of their own; who are ready to show up, but just not sure where;  Who are ready to get to work, but just not sure how: check out  In the over 30,000 pages of resources and tools, you might just find your own little lightning bolt jolt of inspiration to make a difference in your own community!