Reasons Why You Should Participate in Amnesty International
When it comes to becoming a productive and positive member of your community, there are few better ways to get involved in trying to help promote and protect human rights. Though many of us are lucky enough to live in safe and fortunate communities, there are millions of people all across the globe who are not so lucky.
For that reason, if you are looking for options when it comes to the activities that you do outside of the high school classroom – otherwise known as extracurriculars – you may want to seriously consider participating in the incredible program, Amnesty International.
If you are curious about what Amnesty International is and how it could play a role in helping you get into the college or university of your dreams, then you have come to the right place!
Here at AdmissionSight, we make it our priority to look at countless wonderful opportunities for high schoolers to expand their worlds and improve their admission profiles. Now, let’s get started with going over how participating in Amnesty International can help do that and more.
Let’s get started!
What Is Amnesty International?
To put it plainly, Amnesty International is the world’s largest organization that deals with global human rights. Since its original founding in 196, Amnesty International has created a passionate and worldwide movement with a singular mission to prevent and stop violations of human rights.
Some of the core human rights that Amnesty International fights to protect include, rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression as well as freedom from discrimination for any reason. The program also fights diligently to promote and protect all of the human rights that are listed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
One really important thing to know is that as an international organization, Amnesty International is not tethered to any forms of government in the world or political, economic or religious ideologies. The only thing that Amnesty International really concerns itself with is the simple fact that all humans deserve to live free of persecution.
Beyond that, everyone involved in programs and initiatives promoted by Amnesty International can be sure that the actions that they are taking part in are based on certifiable and well-researched facts that serve one singular purpose: To protect the human rights of those who are currently unable to protect themselves.
Currently, there are over 2 million members and 5 million activists working with Amnesty International and come from over 150 countries and territories around the globe. There are more than 4,000 total local and campus chapters that are working passionately and tirelessly to defend human rights.
On top of being the biggest human rights organization, it is also one of the most celebrated. In 1977, it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its work in support of human rights. Without a doubt, those involved from the very top to the very bottom are committed to maintaining that commitment to humanity and all that it deserves!
In all, here are the human rights issues across the globe that amnesty international is involved in:
- Armed conflict
- Arms control
- Climate change
- Corporate accountability
- Death penalty
- Freedom of expression
- Indigenous peoples
- International justice
- Living in dignity
- Police violence
- Refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants
- Sexual and reproductive rights
- United Nations
- Universal declaration of rights
Amnesty International believes that there are three core principles when it comes to making positive change in relation to human rights around the globe.
The first step is research. As previously mentioned, Amnesty International begins every initiative it dedicates time and resources to gather the facts. Their experts do accurate, cross-checked research into possible human rights violations by governments and other groups across the globe.
Next, Amnesty International commits to advocacy and lobbying. After gathering the valuable information, they press governments, companies and key voices, and decision-makers to do the right thing when it comes to populations at risk across the globe.
Finally, they rely on campaigns and action – through petitions, letters, and protests – across the globe to press those in power to take action for those who are most in need of support.
Why Participate in Amnesty International?
Now that you have the basic facts when it comes to Amnesty International, chances are quite good that you already are forming a fairly accurate idea about why it is beneficial for young people across the world to take part in the inspiring and crucially important program.
Members of Amnesty International will benefit not only from being able to take action in initiatives and programs that they are passionate about, but they will also enjoy:
- Urgent updates when it comes to how their action is helping to protect human rights across the globe
- An opportunity to learn about inspiring stories and see photographs showing how support is changing lives
- Get the chance to shape the future of Amnesty International by contributing ideas and views
When it comes to high school students, the best way to get involved in Amnesty International is to either join an already existing Amnesty Student Group or create one on your own. Either way, there are a lot of reasons why being a part of a group that already exists or creating your own is highly beneficial.
Reason 1: Get Connected to Global Change Agents
Whether you are already passionate about human rights advocacy, or simply want to learn more, joining or creating an Amnesty Student Group will give you the opportunity to get in contact with an AIUSA Field Organizer. These field organizers are staff members who have incredible experience in grassroots organizing. They will be a major resource for you when it comes to getting in touch with other leaders in your area who can offer you and your fellow students the support that you need to make a difference for human rights.
Reason 2: Get Recognized
Another fantastic reason why participating in Amnesty International as a high school student is so valuable is that you will be able to have your group officially recognized by your school. Remember, every school has a different set of rules for creating an official student group, so you will want to make sure they speak with your Faculty Advisor. From there, you will be able to start organizing events, raising money for charity, and much more.
Reason 3: You Get to Build Your Group
Whether your group is many years old or brand new, you will be able to take matters into your own hands to reach out to your personal network to find allies and people passionate about human rights. Do your part to ask teachers and professors at your school to announce the group so that potential members will know that it is an option.
You can also continue the legacy of grassroots organizing that exists for Amnesty International by recruiting fellow students through posters, emails, text masses, and more. Remember, one of the very best ways to get others excited about the chance to get involved is to open up about why you are personally so happy about getting involved.
Reason 4: You Get to Get Involved in the Leadership Structure
Without a doubt, if you are creating an Amnesty Student Group on your own, you will become one of the key leaders in that group from day 1. With that being said, if your group is already well-established, you can quickly figure out what you will need to do to eventually carve out a leadership role within your group.
Without a doubt, sticking to your group and rising through the ranks from your first year to your last year in high school will not only give you an incredible experience but will also open your eyes to some of the most important things going on on the earth right now.
Not to mention, adopting a leadership role in your student group will also look incredible on your college application resume, though we’ll get to that a little later on!
Reason 5: You’ll Really Get to Learn About the Issues
If you truly care about issues facing human rights all over the world today, there is quite simply no better way to learn about the issues than by getting involved in Amnesty International.
Whether you are looking to turn this into a major part of your professional or personal life, learning about the AIUSA’s priority campaigns and problematic areas will help you grasp just how important this type of work is. It can be overwhelming, emotional and even scary at times, but there is no doubt whatsoever that any work you can do during your high school years and beyond can have an immeasurable positive impact on the world and the people in it.
Reason 6: Get Involved in Grassroots Activism
There is absolutely no doubt that the vast majority of activism is done by adult members and full-time employees or volunteers of Amnesty International. With that being said, there is no doubt that students can get involved in grassroots activism as well. This typically takes the form of service projects, such as circulating a petition for a government official to enact legislation related to human rights, writing letters to imprisoned human rights defenders to offer your support, and more.
Reason 7: Raise Money to Enact Change
The final truly important reason that we will break down has to do with running fundraisers in order to help Amnesty International pay for the many different initiatives that they are working on at any given time. This can help you engage with other activists within your community and get a real sense that you are making a positive difference on this earth!
Does Amnesty International Look Good for College?
When it comes to what kinds of extracurricular activities look good for colleges, there is really no limit to what you can do. Of course, there are your traditional options, such as joining a sports team, getting involved in your school government, or taking part in some kind of academic competition group.
With that being said, there are some really important reasons why joining a more unique – and perhaps more specific – extracurricular program like Amnesty International can help your application profile jump off the page in college admissions offices all across the country.
Let’s break down some of the top reasons why that is true together!
Joining Amnesty International Proves Your Passion for Your Global Community
One of the biggest things that college admissions look for when it comes to a student’s out-of-class activities is that they followed their passions and natural interests. While there is – of course – nothing wrong with someone’s passions being based in athletics or the creative arts, it may look quite a bit more impressive if your passions are rooted in helping those most in need and making the world a better place.
This speaks to your maturity, your selflessness, and your ability to look outside yourself and your own experiences. Without a doubt, this can help bring added attention and interest to the rest of your college application profile.
Amnesty International Gives You the Opportunity to Truly Lead
Without a doubt, one of the most important characteristics that all great extracurricular activities have for high school students is that they offer opportunities for students to take on leadership roles.
When it comes to well-established or heavily popular extracurriculars, it can take years to even have the option to undertake a leadership role. In fact, some students run the risk of being involved in the same program or groups for all four years of their high school careers without ever getting the chance to assume a role of leadership.
With that being said, when it comes to likely lesser-known groups such as Amnesty International, you could very likely get involved on the ground floor. Remember, there is a high likelihood that your school currently has no affiliation with Amnesty International. This means several things.
First off, it will show people looking at your applications that you are able to take on a great role of responsibility and figure out ways to manifest your goals. Beyond that, keep in mind that if you serve as a founding member of your Amnesty Student Group, you will also be able to claim intimate responsibility in any of the fundraising campaigns, grassroots programs, and more than the group ultimately takes on during your four-year high school career!
Joking Amnesty International Could Open Up Incredible Recommendation Opportunities
Being a member of Amnesty International, joining a student group or forming your own student group not only gives you a unique and impressive extracurricular that you can list on your application, but it also gives you an incredible opportunity to form strong, professional, and personal bonds with people who have committed their entire lives to fight for human rights worldwide.
Whether this is through working closely with your AIUSA Field Organizer or getting involved in some of the many fantastic Amnesty International initiatives that are being worked on right now, you will have a great chance of getting out of your school’s bubble and crafting some real-world relationships. When the time comes, you will have the opportunity to ask these people if they would be willing to write a letter of recommendation for you.
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting a letter of recommendation from a member of your school’s faculty, sports coach, or leader of your religious community, there is absolutely something to be said about being able to stand out in this way.
In the end, you have to keep in mind that there are tens of thousands of young students who are likely applying to the same schools that you are hoping to get into. In the end, chances are good that there will be some students who have better grade point averages or better test scores than you do. However, if you can prove to the right college admissions officer that you will be the student to contribute most to the community of the school itself, you could absolutely end up being the student who gets the acceptance letter.
Draw Upon Your Experienced During Your Essays
It is not at all rare for application essays to deal with topics such as your personal experience, what you’ll be able to bring to a college campus, and who exactly you are. In that regard, working with Amnesty International will give you incredible opportunities to experience and, in turn, write about things that really matter to you and matter to the world.
In the end, the programs and extracurriculars that you take part in during high school are what you make them. Taking on personal responsibility and pursuing your true passions are what matters most. Here at AdmissionSight, we make it our goal to help students get into the school of their dreams, wherever they may be. Without a doubt, getting involved in Amnesty International during your high school career could be an incredible way to achieve just that and so much more.