Celebrating the Role of Student Changemakers

Access All Stories Here!


During October-November 2019 Ashoka U published weekly stories of individuals who have navigated breakthroughs, overcome challenges, and embraced dynamic experiences during their time as student changemakers. Our hope is that their stories, both personal and universal, will shift the narrative around what it means to be a changemaker and who can be one – on campus and beyond.

In the months following, we will continue to publish content that highlights various pathways, levels of involvement, and institutional innovations that student changemakers across the globe have brought to life.

Our Goals

Our aim is for this campaign to spark lively discussions on campus, in classrooms, and across communities, related to the following questions:

  • How might we break the stereotype of who changemaker education is for?
  • What are the myriad ways student leadership has, and will continue, to serve changemaking across campuses and communities?
  • Why are the contributions and needs of student changemakers so rarely recognized as equals to other higher education stakeholders?

Your Call to Action

As a content curator, we know and trust that these stories can serve a variety of purposes across Ashoka U’s extended community.

  • Please share and interact with these stories!
  • Utilize the hashtag #studentchangemakerstories and tag @AshokaU profiles as you share.
  • Remember: The more momentum we can build here, the more momentum for student changemaker perspectives everywhere!

Thirteen Stories Over Four Weeks – Read them here and meet our contributors!

Week 1: Storytellers Across the Student Spectrum

Our first three student changemaker stories showcase that there are no limits to how we can engage with, and build off of, experiences of changemaker education – as an undergraduate student, as a recent graduate, and as a professional PhD action researcher. Each author speaks to key factors and experiences that supported them to chart personally-relevant pathways as students and co-leaders of changemaking. Thank you Megan, Nithya, and Simon for your contributions!

Week 2: The Questions that Lead to Changemaking

Our second batch of student changemaker stories from Bryan, Katie, and Clément are all united by a common thread – the contributors reflect on and share a key question that guided them deeper into (and through) their changemaker journeys as students. As our work in changemaker education evolves, we recognize how critical steps like reflective questioning, understanding and learning about complex issues, and cultivating a personal connection to changemaking all guide us through this work. Our contributors and their stories this week are powerful reminders of the purpose a guiding question can serve for changemaker education, especially as one revisits that question’s purpose over time.

Week 3: Unpredictable Turning Points, Unwavering Changemakers

Our next three contributors shed light on what it was like to have an unexpected event, or series of events, inform their changemaker journeys. They remind us that it is impossible to assume any single pathway into changemaking – each person is likely to have their own spark, life event, or other memorable experience that forged their dedication to changemaking as a student. Thank you to Maya, Jayden, and Yanniz for your contributions!

Week 4: Working Toward Community Collaboration

This week’s contributors all connect with the theme of community and how their close collaboration with other changemakers made their student journey (and others’ journeys) more supported, inspired, and long-lasting. They remind us that as we embrace our changemaker journeys, we’ll often grow in the most transformational ways when we come together through shared experiences and shared commitment. Thank you Isabel, Diego, Mitzi, and Mihai for your contributions!