Children and young people need to find the power inside of themselves and create change for the good of all, in order to thrive in a world that is rapidly changing. Opportunities are endless once a young person realizes this power. Meagan Warren found her power when she was exposed to the harsh reality of the low-income schools. Now, she is determined to help others find their power to create change for the good of all.
Growing up in Bexley, Ohio, Meagan loved to read. It wasn’t until Meagan spent time in her mother’s classroom, which is located in a low-income school, that Meagan realized that not all children had the same access to books as she did. Spending time in her mother’s classroom enabled Meagan to see just how different the lives of students who lived only a few neighborhoods over were. At age 11 Meagan felt an immense “desire to help level the [educational] playing field” by increasing access to books for students who live in a book desert. Book deserts are “any place where a majority of people [living] in that community have less than twenty-five books in their home.” Meagan was shocked to learn that most of the United States is a book desert and founded Books for Bedtime as a way to give students who lack access to books the chance to read at home.
To date, Meagan has donated over 70,000 books and hopes to continue to increase this number. While Meagan credits her grandparents and mother for helping her with the logistical aspects of Books for Bedtime, she also “feel[s] like [her] whole community is [her] team.” Almost every member of Meagan’s community has donated at least one book to her cause, and Meagan believes that the help and support of her community have played a significant role in contributing to the success of Books for Bedtime. When Meagan donates books, she goes into the school and gives a presentation about the power of reading and her experience as a changemaker. Not only has Books for Bedtime had a meaningful impact on others, but it has also changed Meagan’s life. It has made her more confident, a better public speaker, and has taught her the importance of spontaneity.
Meagan believes that it is everyone’s responsibility to be a changemaker and that given the opportunity to make the world a better place everyone should have the capacity to create positive change. In order to make changemaking more accessible, Meagan is currently working to develop a “changemaker folder” which will provide youth with the tools and resources needed when creating a changemaking initiative. This folder, Meagan hopes, will allow a new cohort of changemakers to be as supported and encouraged in their pursuits as Meagan knows she was at the inception of Books for Bedtime.
Caroline DelAngelo and Lucy Eills contributed to this story.
Check out Meagan speaking to a group of youth and their parents about starting your changemaking journey today and leading young!