Stand Up! Discussion Guide (FREE eBook DOWNLOAD)

(Publishing Syndicate, September 2013)

Every story in Stand Up! is a launching pad for lessons and discussions on many topics—bullying, the arts, equality, disabilities, empowerment, family, environment, peer pressure, community service, education, friendship, leadership, race relations, faith, diseases and other medical issues, poverty, cultural understanding, healthy eating and living, animal welfare, drugs, military issues, social entrepreneurship, and so much more. The Stand Up! Discussion Guide is meant to be a starting point for exploring these issues and causes in the classroom, in the community, at home and anywhere else teachers, students, parents, book clubs, advocates, activists and the simply curious may be gathered. Like the stories themselves, the goal of this guide is to use the discussion questions as gateways to debate and exchanges that will encourage participants to further expand their knowledge, share experiences, open minds, take action, inspire change and bring people closer together.

Praise for Stand Up!:

“Schlimm is unquestionably successful in crafting a different narrative about 21st century youth than often pervades the popular press – and we’re thrilled to see stories that shift the focus from the art of the selfie to the power of selfless activism.”

~ Emily Weinstein and Paromita De, The Good Project/Harvard Project Zero/Harvard Graduate School of Education

“The courage, compassion and vision of the young people featured in Stand Up! should inspire everyone, regardless of age, to champion for a world of equality, respect and inclusion for all. I am in awe of the ingenuity and bravery of today’s youth leaders: many have stared down prejudice, bullying and stigma to change schools and communities for the better. My hope is that these stories will embolden bystanders to become up-standers. I am especially proud of those in this book who have advocated, in their own ways, for people with intellectual disabilities. Through Special Olympics programs such as Project UNIFY and Unified Sports, we seek to create a ‘Unified Generation’ where we will Play Unified to Live Unified, and where we only see different abilities, not disabilities. Sports is but one path to changing the world. As this book shows, the needs of our world are great, but the collective power of our youth to solve the issues that face us is greater. Lead on!”

~ Timothy P. Shriver, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO of Special Olympics

“Young activists today are not only lighting up the four corners of the globe with their humanitarian work and public service, now in Stand Up! they inspire, challenge, and show other young people that changing the world begins with each one of us taking a step forward!”

~ Tavis Smiley, Broadcaster, Author and Philanthropist

Stand Up! is prime real estate for the world’s best and brightest young activists, who have mastered the intersection of entrepreneur and humanitarian. No matter the mission, the secret to making a difference in the world is right here on these pages.”

Barbara Corcoran, Star of ABC’s Shark Tank, Real Estate Contributor to NBC’s TODAY Show and Founder of The Corcoran Group

“When I was a kid, I was playing video games. The young people in Stand Up! are saving lives and the planet! I saved lives, too, but they were mostly from aliens and dragons. Still, I think we both did some important work.”

~ Joel Stein, Humorist, Author and Columnist for TIME Magazine

Stand Up! is an inspiring book. John Schlimm has showcased different organizations, groups and foundations in a way that makes your heart feel good. As I read the many stories of people taking negatives and turning them into positives, it resonated with me as that is why I created my foundation and our motto, ‘Just Ask Yourself to Care!’.  I have always been a true believer in hope and looking at the glass half full even when your glass is running on empty.”

~ Jaycee Dugard, Founder of The JAYC Foundation and Author of A Stolen Life

Stand Up! is a true testament to the power of youth. Young people like the ones included in this book have some brilliant ideas—not to mention a fresh perspective—and if we don’t take the time to listen to them, we’re doing children and our children’s children a huge disservice. I am honored that Lindsey Eaton—a young woman with an intellectual disability—and Best Buddies are included.”

~ Anthony K. Shriver, Founder and Chairman of Best Buddies International

Stand Up! is a handbook for the next generation of leaders—a blueprint for activating, motivating and taking action. Each of these visionary ‘superheroes’ has figured out the best way to use their voices and talents to serve the community and make the world a better place.”

~ Robin L. BronkCEO of The Creative Coalition

Stand Up! profiles many young energetic people who will make the world a better place.  It will inspire many young people to take the initiative to do a project that will make a real difference in people’s lives.”

~ Temple Grandin, Author of Thinking in Pictures and The Autistic Brain

“Teens know better than anyone else how to make activism fun, loud and impactful—it’s time we listen! So glad to see a bunch of them here in one book!”

~ Nancy Lublin, CEO and “Chief Old Person” at

“When my father, Ted Turner, created Captain Planet and the Planeteers, he said, ‘Our children can inherit a legacy of wastefulness, or an action plan that can save our planet.’  The young environmentalists and activists featured in Stand Up! are real-life examples of what will be required for us to create long-lasting, sustainable solutions for our world and all the species who share it.  I am inspired and delighted by their courage, vision, and tenacity.”

~ Laura Turner Seydel, Chairperson of Captain Planet Foundation

Stand Up! is an important and inspiring handbook for young people (and all of us) written by young people, who are on the frontlines of today’s most pressing issues, causes, and crises. I’m proud to have Grassroot Soccer represented in Stand Up! through the incredible story written by Grassroot Soccer Zambia Program Coordinator David Kapata.”

~ Ethan Zohn, Co-Founder of Grassroot Soccer and Winner of CBS’s Survivor: Africa

Stand Up! is another testament to the power of youth to change the world—Full of inspiring stories of how the generation of tomorrow is making a positive difference today.”

~ Philippe Cousteau, President and Co-Founder of EarthEcho International, Host of CNN International’s Going Green, and Co-Author of Going Blue and Make a Splash!

Stand Up! is a celebration of some of the most inspiring young minds working to make a difference in our world, but it also serves as a guide that empowers readers with the knowledge that their voices and actions can also make a difference. I applaud these young heroes for choosing to make this world a little better for all of us.”

Dr. Lisa Masterson, Co-Host of The Doctors, Founder of Maternal Fetal Care International and “Champion” for the UN Foundation’s Girl Up

“Just like in our kid-created, award-winning Amazing Kids! MagazineStand Up! echoes the inspired and passionate voices of young people who are determined to make the world a better place for all of us. These young activists, many of whom have been previously featured as our ‘Amazing Kids! of the Month,’ aren’t only the leaders of tomorrow, they are already forging a bright path of compassion, hard work, and public service today.”

~ Alyse Rome, Founder and President of Amazing Kids! and Amazing Kids! Magazine

Stand Up! gives each one of us a bright, positive and fresh new way to look at tomorrow while making a difference today. These talented and driven young activists selflessly extend a helping hand with the message that anyone anywhere can change this planet for the better and make our world a better place to live in. I applaud Charles Maceo and City Hearts, as well as all the other activists and organizations showcased in this fantastic book.”

~ Max Adler, Actor (“Dave Karofsky” on Glee) and International Spokesperson for City Hearts: Kids Say “Yes” to the Arts

Stand Up! reminds us that young people are our greatest treasure. Delaitre Hollinger, the Little Brother to our 2012 Big Brother of the Year, is a great example. We are honored that Stand Up! introduces Delaitre and Big Brothers Big Sisters to readers who are looking for ways to invest in children, families and communities.”

~ Charles Pierson, President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

“Much is written these days about the remarkable young social entrepreneurs who have sprung up around the globe. Stand Up! is an unique collection where seventy-five of them vividly describe in their own words what they’ve done, why they’ve done it, and what they hope to achieve.”

~ Howard Gardner, Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Director of the Good Project

“Changing the world begins with a vision for a different future, requires optimism that the vision can be realized, and demands effort to make the change manifest. Stand Up! offers all three ingredients by telling the stories of young people undeterred by the magnitude of inequality because they recognize no injustice can stand once they have organized to eliminate it.”

~ Melissa Harris-Perry, Host of MSNBC’s The Melissa Harris-Perry Show, Professor of Political Science and Founding Director of The Anna Julia Cooper Project on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South at Tulane University

“If there was ever a question in your mind about where this world is headed, the young activists in Stand Up! are loudly and clearly providing the answer: Onward and upward! These leaders, many at the helm of their own nonprofits and movements, have created an important blueprint for young people everywhere who seek to use their talents and skills to make the world a better place.”

~ Dr. Randal Pinkett, Chairman & CEO of BCT Partners, Author of Campus CEO and Winner of NBC’s The Apprentice

Stand Up! is a valentine to all those who believe in the power of young people. If you’ve ever doubted that the world is changing for the better, allow your heart to fill with these inspiring stories of youthful creativity, grit, and determination. Reading this book will make you want to stand up—and cheer!”

~ Alex Sanchez, Lambda Award-winning Author of Rainbow Boys and Boyfriends with Girlfriends

“People of all ages will be riveted by the compelling stories in Stand Up! These inventive and resourceful, young problem solvers unleash hundreds of ideas that will inspire us to put our passion into action.”

~ Wendy Lesko, President of Youth Activism Project and School Girls Unite

“Society as we live it in this epoch of uncertainty has embraced the story of  ‘goodness’. And, nobody is living it out more than the millennium generation. Schlimm’s delicious collection of stories in Stand Up! really inspires one’s hope for humanity’s future.”

~ Watts Wacker, Founder and CEO of FirstMatter, Futurist and Author

“John Schlimm marvelously illuminates the true ‘other’ side of youth today, showcasing them as engaged, philanthropic and groundbreaking new activists. As the co-founders of the World of Children Award, we discovered, recognized and funded many of the young people featured here, and we know them to be wise beyond their years and committed beyond their peers…Talia Leman, Ryan Hreljac, Kyle Weiss, Dallas Jessup, Ashlee Smith, Alex Scott. At the World of Children Award, we believe the future is in good hands, namely those featured right here in Schlimm’s carefully researched and beautifully presented work.”

~ Harry Leibowitz and Kay Isaacson-Leibowitz, Co-Founders of the World of Children Award

“The way these remarkable young change makers use social networks, new technologies and old-fashioned hard work to transform society is both inspiring and instructive. If we could infuse their energy, passion and optimism into this entire generation, we would solve the world’s problems. Read Stand Up! and get inspired!”

~ Dave Boyce, Co-Founder and Customer Experience Officer of Fundly 

“I’ve learned from FoodCorps service members and the students they teach that you’re never too young to make a big impact in your community. Stand Up! tells the stories of young leaders who have tackled some of our society’s most challenging issues, with no fears of failure and a buoyant optimism that is infectious and inspiring. These young leaders are showing how mentors aren’t always our elders. They’re ‘mentoring up!’”

Debra Eschmeyer, Co-Founder of FoodCorps and Recipient of the James Beard Foundation Leadership Award

“Deeply heartwarming and inspiring. Stand Up! is proof that humanitarianism truly has no minimum age requirement!”

Lisa Alter, Arielle Alter Confino and Jordana Alter Confino, Co-Founders of Girls Learn International

“I and twelve other Nobel Peace Prize Laureates work with youth who understand that being part of change isn’t magic, it’s about getting up off their butts and taking action to make the world a better place for us all. They understand that worrying and complaining about problems is not a strategy for change; the only thing that matters is what we do individually and collectively to change our world. Stand Up! celebrates what young people do to challenge the issues that confront us all. I totally love working with youth.”

~ Jody Williams, Recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize 1997 and Part of (a group of 13 Peace Laureates who work with young people to help them see they can be agents of change)

“We hear so much about the folly of youth, and not enough about the wisdom, vision, and strength. It is all clearly there, if we pay attention and give our young people the space they need to work it through. This very real and very encouraging testament is a joyful, inspiring reminder of the possible.”

~ Mollie Katzen, Author of Moosewood Cookbook and The Heart of the Plate: Vegetarian Recipes for a New Generation

Stand Up! is the ultimate stage for today’s brightest and most talented young activists, who are rocking the world with their good works. This is the real Fountain of Youth at its very best and most inspiring!”

~ Taylor Hicks, Singer-Songwriter, Author and Winner of Fox’s American Idol

“Wow! My faith in the future is restored by these young people and how they are trying to repair a broken world. Every reader, young or old, will be inspired to do more after reading Stand Up!.”

~ Alan Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School 

Stand Up! is a groundbreaking call to action by young people, who are championing the notion that each one of us has the unique power to change the world for the better. This book proves that the future is, indeed, very bright.”

~ Amanda Hearst, Founder and Chair of The Humane Society of the United States’ Friends of Finn and Executive Board Member of Riverkeeper

“As someone living with learning disabilities, I know that difficult times can lead to strength. The Stand Up! activists will change the world with their ideas and their strength. They are an inspiration for what we can accomplish, especially if we all come together. This book is what ‘owning it’ really looks like.”

~ Quinn Bradlee, Founder of Friends of Quinn

Stand Up! reminds oldsters of how wrong we were when we used to say that youth is wasted on the young, especially when we read the extraordinary accomplishments of today’s youngsters.”

~ Shirley M. Hufstedler, the first United States Secretary of Education

Stand Up! is refreshing proof of the impact one person can have when they advance a cause in which they believe. It is an inspirational read for activists young and old—those who are agents of positive change seeking the world in which they want to live.”

The Right Honourable Paul Martin, Former Prime Minister of Canada

“If you want to look goodness, decency, and humanity in the eye, look no further than the wonderful young adults profiled in Stand Up! Amongst these inspiring stories and seriously gifted young people is Tanner Smith, who was featured on my show for his dedication to hospitalized children through his non-profit, Tanner’s Totes. At an age when many get a pass for being self-centered, Tanner and the other young adults showcased here demonstrate all that can be accomplished when we deliberately set out to make a positive change.”

~ Vern Yip, Host of HGTV’s Deserving Design with Vern Yip, Judge for HGTV’s Design Star and Founder of Vern Yip Designs

“Thank you, magnificent generation of young leaders, for your passion and willingness to speak up, step up and STAND UP for the change you wish to see in the world. Your voices are powerful, impactful and harmonious. You dream and then you do. You are building a healthy and just world for all generations to come. That is your true gift! Lead on!”

~ Judi Shils, Founder and Director of Teens Turning Green 

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