INFLUENCER FOR GOOD:
"Influencer for Good" Hannah Alper cares deeply about social causes and making a difference in the world. When she was 10, she was invited to speak at We Day events across Canada and was invited back the next year for the 2014/2015 season. Her Influencer status allows her to use social platforms to inspire and educate her peers. Meet Hannah!
BRAND ACTIVIST CALLMEHANNAH
Hannah Alper is a 12-year-old blogger, motivational speaker and activist. On her blog, CallMeHannah.ca and during her speeches at schools and events across North America, she discusses the environment, education, clean water, kindness and everything that she cares about.
Her goal is to inspire people to think about what they care about, and how they can turn that into action and making a difference. Hannah’s first role model was a girl named Severn Suzuki. When she was 9 years old, she started the Environmental Children’s Organization, and when she was 12, she was invited to speak at the UN Earth Summit. Severn was the first person who made Hannah believe that you are never to young to make a difference, and today her inspirations include Craig Kielburger (founder of Me to We), Malala Yousafzai (youngest-ever Nobel Laureate) and her parents.
During a Digital Family Summit in 2012, Hannah attended a blogging workshop where she created CallMeHannah. At first, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to write about, but her parents encouraged her to blog about something she was passionate about. She realized that what mattered to her were animals; ensuring they had a healthy environment to live in, raising awareness and making sure they don’t become endangered. Hannah’s inspiration was her dog, Indigo, and the animals she saw at the Toronto Zoo when she visited with her family. Her advice to other young people looking to start a blog is to find a free site like Wordpress, share it with your friends and family and be yourself! Starting a blog will help your reading, spelling, grammar and research skills, especially if you’re writing every day. Don’t worry if it feels strange at first – if you practice and stay true to yourself, you will find your own voice.
Hannah’s parents were big helps on her journey to activism. Her father also has a blog, and both of her parents are on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, so they were able to help her along they way when she was starting out. They also monitor her posts and help her come up with ideas. Besides her parents, she has a large network of people who support her, including her friends and teachers. Her teachers are understanding when she has to miss school for speaking engagements, and give her work to do on the road and advice if she needs it. She also has friends who are on student council and in her Free the Children club, but she also has friends who don’t do anything similar to what she does and that’s okay too!
According to Hannah, an activist is a change maker. They are someone who finds their passion and uses it to make the world a better place. While she is aware of the negative effects of social media, it has played a very important part in her journey. For her, social media is one of the biggest ways of sharing your voice. Things you post can reach people all over the world and spread awareness about your passions and the campaigns you are doing. It’s also a great way to keep up-to-date with what the people who inspire you are doing. Hannah also feels that numbers aren’t important. We all start out with zero followers on social media, and the important thing is your stories and actions – not the number of likes or followers you have.
Before social media, the term ‘slacktivist’ didn’t really exist. The Internet has made it easy to like a post or change your profile picture to align with a cause. For Hannah, a ‘slacktivist’ is someone who knows about the problems in the world, and says they will do something about it, but doesn’t. Activism is all about following through – we all want to help the world but sometimes it seems like too much work for just one person. In order to be an activist, you need to talk the talk and walk the walk; and know that even the little things add up to make big changes happen.
Hannah feels like she is an influencer for good, and she is honored to be part of a community of activists and change-makers. She wants to continue her work as an activist when she gets older, and help people in any way she can. She is also excited to volunteer at the local veterinary clinic when she turns 16, so she might be helping animals too!