What are most high schoolers up to this fall? School, sports and jobs fill much of their time, but Zach Hunter is part of the growing community of students who are about more than the obvious teen activities. As a high school senior, teen abolitionist and activist, Hunter has just completed his third book LOSE YOUR COOL: Discovering a Passion that Changes You and the World, launching October 6, 2009 through Zondervan/Youth Specialties.
LOSE YOUR COOL explores ways that teens can truly discover the causes that are closest to their hearts and that will ignite a passion to change their world by exploring the stories of different world changers (musicians, filmmakers, humanitarians, architects, etc.) Not all used their dedication for good, however each were more than willing to make significant sacrifices to follow their passions. In LOSE YOUR COOL, Hunter asks, “Do you want to be passionate? Do you want to find a reason to get out of bed in the morning? Do you wish you were so excited about a project or a purpose that you had a hard time getting to sleep at night?”
Since the age of twelve, Zach has spent most of his time working to end modern-day slavery after starting the non-profit Loose Change to Loosen Chains. His first and second books, BE THE CHANGE and GENERATION CHANGE, were focused on inspiring teens to step out and make a difference in their world. These projects struck a chord with youth today, and Zach has spent the past five years speaking in front of hundreds of thousands of people, inspiring and challenging each of us to make a change in the world.
Zach has appeared regularly on TV and radio and contributes to magazine and newspaper articles. CNN has featured him on both the Heroes special, as well as a segment called Faces of Faith. He has been invited to speak at White House events, and appeared on Good Morning America, the 700 Club, and was featured in articles in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Christianity Today, Newsweek and Scholastic Magazine to name a few. As the global spokesperson for The Amazing Change, a social justice campaign launched by Bristol Bay Productions in conjunction with the major motion picture AMAZING GRACE: The William Wilberforce Story, Zach was honored to tour the world, speaking on behalf of the voiceless who are still trapped by the cycle of slavery today.
QUOTES FROM LOSE YOUR COOL:
“Go hang out with kids, and you’ll see that most of us are constantly checking the displays on our phones, logging into our laptops, and sending texts to one person while taking with someone else. We communicate and we’re super-plugged-in, yet we’re never fully connected to others or really connected to what’s going on around us.” Pg 16
“You can’t just go to bed tonight hoping that if you try hard enough you will be more passionate tomorrow, because passion is so much more than a simple, human feeling. Passion often starts with an interest. Perhaps you notice some issue in your community or some problem that’s facing our world, and you realize that it’s wrong. Usually this awareness sparks some emotion in you, like anger or sadness – and then a realization that feeling bad simply isn’t enough. You decide you want to do something about it. And that’s when an interest becomes a passion. When you take the feelings inside you, or that intellectual interest you have and put it into action, passion is ignited.” Pg 20
“Sometimes we may end up choosing the wrong battles, be they fights with windmills or with each other. Sometimes we can get so caught up in our great battle that we accidentally step on the people who have carried us on their shoulders.” Pg 48 (Chapter about Don Quixote
“Sometimes the pursuit of your passion and the execution of it with excellence will buy you a seat at a table where you normally wouldn’t have been invited. And sometimes, people will listen to what you have to say just because of your reputation as a passionate person.” Page 58
“You don’t have to do something big in order to make a significant difference.” Pg 73
“I think we have the tendency to value those who are most visible, most charismatic. But I always wonder what work God is preparing in the hearts of the quieter, less noticed people.” Pg 80
“Artists have the ability to paint, write, or sing in ways that not only make the world a more beautiful place but also provide for others words and images that expresses their own deepest thoughts and desires.” Pg 108
“In a world where technology and innovation are so highly valued, young people whoare gifted in the arts sometimes feel like they don’t fit in or don’t’ have much to contribute.” Pg 108
“What do I have that might help someone else?” Pg 124
“We might look at Hitler’s story or the Rwandan genocide and be outraged that our grandparents and parents could have allowed these horrors to take place. But we need to stand up and take responsibility for what’s happening today – both in our individual lives and in the world.” Pg 146
“Seeds of bitterness and anger, if they are nurtured, grow into contempt and hatred. And if that hatred continues to grow unchecked, it will reproduce in the hearts of others.” Pg 147
“I’ve noticed that we sometimes feel we have a right to harbor an offense. Someone has wronged us in some way and we hang on to it. We sometimes even wear it as a badge of honor. But I’ve seen how the protection of that offense, our owning and embracing it, can rob us of the good things God has for us. It can choke our energy. It can keep us from discovering the passion for good that God has given each of us.” Pg 147
“When we’re holding on so tightly to the wrong that’s been done to us and the hurt we feel, it’s hard to embrace God’s plan for us.” Pg 148
“I hope our generation will redefine “normal.” I hope we’ll be known as the generation that lived their lives with passion and beauty, that gave themselves up for the poor and oppressed, that loved extravagantly and courageously.” Pg 156