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Always Here To Help

From speaking on the National Mall to attending the 70th UN General Assembly, junior Chloe McGill stops at nothing to give back

Junior Chloe McGill seems to always be involved in giving back to her community in some way or another. “I am really lucky that I grew up in a family that values philanthropy,” McGill said on how she got started volunteering so much of her time to notable causes.

McGill’s mother started a school in Rwanda in 2011, where she volunteers every couple of years. However, McGill’s main focus is with the Save the Children organization.

The Save the Children Fund was established in 1919 by Eglantyne Jebb with the goal of feeding children facing starvation after the First World War. The League of Nations then adopted Jebb’s charter on children’s rights.

Since then, a number of Save the Children organizations have formed around the world to coordinate a global movement with a common goal of improving the lives of children. Save the Children’s largest effort was in response to the Indian Ocean tsunami. The response program received funds of $272 million, largely through donations.

How did McGill get the opportunity to work with such an important organization with branches across the globe? In January 2015 she heard about a youth advocacy summit in Washington D.C. Despite the fact that the summit occurred during finals week and she had no idea what to expect, McGill was reluctant to pass up what sounded like an amazing opportunity. So, she took her finals early to make it work. There she learned what Save the Children does, why the organization is so important, and how young people can be a part of the organization in a beneficial way.

“I learned why it is so important for people our age to be involved and why we actually can make a difference, even though sometimes it doesn’t feel like we can,” McGill said. Since then, she has been an active member in the effort.

McGill helped organize a local concert in Kirkland that was all about the importance of advocacy. Earlier this year she worked on

Proposition 1, which was on the November ballot in the recent midterm elections. The proposition was called Best Art for Kids. It aimed to better early learning for kids in King County.

Last April, McGill had the chance to speak on the National Mall in front of a quarter of a million people about

Save the Children. She spoke on stage with music artist will.i.am, actress Freida Pinto, and broadcaster Soledad O’Brien, among others.

“Beforehand I convinced myself it was just a little talk. It didn’t really hit me until right before I went on stage. It was one of the most surreal experiences of my life,” McGill said.

McGill’s presence in activism is no secret.

“She’s one of the most active people in the community that I know. She’s always working on something,” junior Talia Randle said.

McGill definitely puts in a lot of hours. In September she attended the seventieth UN General Assembly in New York and she continues to work on smaller projects closer to home.

With her high school career rapidly nearing its end, McGill says she hopes to continue working with Save the Children after she graduates.  McGill said, “I’ve been able to learn why it’s so important for young people to be involved, in what ways we can be involved and how big of an impact we make,” McGill said. “In terms of feeling like I’ve been able to give back, [Save the Children] has been huge.”

By Hannah Zundel-Davis

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