Hannah Testa | Youth Activist

Hannah Testa | Youth Activist Follow

Founder of Hannah4Change🌟
we don’t inherit our 🌎 from our ancestors we borrow it from our children


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Currently going through my camera roll and came across this picture from #pops2017 🌊

I had this incredible opportunity because of @greeningforward and was able to meet like-minded youth in CA and talk about plastic pollution 🐠 I have made so many friends that I still talk to today and it was such a life changing experience for me and I am so grateful for it. 
@danniwashington @heirstoouroceans @cambria.heirs @heirstoouroceans_oc @chloemckennaaa @jude.mccarthy @coseypoo @bahamasplasticmovement @keylacorreia @plasticfreemermaids
Dear 2018,
This was a year of change.
for better and worse. Growth only occurs with the uneasiness of the unknown. My struggles helped me grow into the person I am today —
I turned 16.  I went vegan. I spoke on the senate floor in Georgia. I got to create an ocean challenge. I have realized how powerful my voice is and how I can use it to create real change.

This was a year of travel and experiences. My summer was full of traveling and getting to meet some incredible people and work on insane projects. — I’m on a cereal box @kashi I got to film in Cuba and speak in Bahrain. I went to @instagram Kindness Prom. I went to some stunning places I never would have seen in my wildest dreams. 
This was a year of challenges
of all kinds. Whether it was personal or work barriers, I was able to overcome them. The challenges show you that you are going in the right direction, no one lives a perfect life w/o it’s ups and downs.

This was a year of hope.
Hope for peace in every corner of the world. Hope that mother earth and all of her animals will stop suffering. Hope for more love and compassion in the world. Hope for a better tomorrow.

This was a year of friendship.
Making new friends along the way
and leaving some behind. I’ve found my tribe of people i know that are always here for me no matter what. Late night phone calls, crazy adventures, and weird group chats. I met my favorite group of people. @alexseyreyes @classymalick @arvininanoria @hailethomas @mayasideas @gabriellejordanintl @mikeys777 @haleyshimer_ @cami.merkel @caroline_8_ @rrachel.murray @carabrownie18 @sofiafsan @saanyabhargava @johnrseydel @erinschrode @danniwashington 
This was a year of self-love.
I struggled with it throughout the year, and many of my closest friends know how hard it was for me to accept myself. but i’ve come to realize that i am so lucky to love the life i have. i’m so fortunate to have these experiences. to be able to live life to the fullest.

And I am beyond grateful for the people I have in my life that are 100% behind me and want the best for me. I couldn’t imagine my life without all of its ups and downs and I am so grateful for everything 2018 has thrown my way.
Haile your officially 18!! 🎂 
I am so so SOOO proud of you and everything you have achieved. You have been such a great mentor, friend, and sister to me and i cannot thank you enough for everything you have done for me 💓

I’m so fortunate to have you in my life and I cannot wait to see the incredible things you will do in the years to come.
I hope today is as special as you are.
(And when you run for POTUS can I be your VP?)
Over the summer, I had the incredible opportunity to be a mentor to over 100 young leaders 👊🏼 that want to help our oceans. Ocean Hero’s Boot Camp 🌊 was an amazing experience to see some many people wanting to my a difference. I’m so fortunate that I was was put in a position to be their mentor and leader for the week and hopefully a friend beyond camp.
On Friday, 5 of these influential youth were recognized at the Captain Planet Gala. I felt like a proud Mama seeing them of stage with their acceptance speeches and their smiles.
@kidsspeakforparks @strawlessschool @project_ocean_hawaii @skiptheplasticstraw @plastic_free_cayman 
You 5 are INCREDIBLE and you inspire ME everyday. Thank you for letting me mentor you and for being your friend. You guys are really going to save the world 🌎
Thank you @oceanheroeshq @captainplanetfdn @duneives @emersonkane @adriangrenier for connecting me with these wonderful kids and allowing me to be a youth leader to them 💓 You gave me a voice and gave these 5 a voice as well, so thank you so much.
Just a reminder that now through next June, I am collecting ocean art pieces for the #oceanchallenge with @studentsrebuild and @bezosfoundation and each art piece is worth $2 (and we can raise up to $500,000) and it will all be donated toward ocean conservation 🐋💙
So please send me your art pieces, or if you can’t mail them to me, send me a picture! Can’t wait to see your creativity 🖼✏️
Meet my friend Precious @projectchimps today 🌸 After 28 years in a research lab, she now has a forever home.
Project Chimps provides lifelong care to former research chimpanzees at its 236-acre forests sanctuary in North Georgia🌲There are currently 59 chimps in their care, and they are expected to house over 200 chimps in the next few years.
I had an amazing opportunity to see Precious when I visited the sanctuary. Precious is battling kidney disease (like many former research chimps) and and she needs extra care ❤️ Please join me in supporting Precious by making an early donation for #GivingTuesday today. After a lifetime in the lab, it’s their time to live! You can donate at www.projectchimps.org
Looking at today’s world you most likely fall in three categories :
- Want to be ignorant to it
- Don’t know where to start
- Want to do everything 
I can fall in a mixture of these categories depending on what it is, and when I want to accomplish EVERYTHING I become burnt out or discouraged. It can be hard to find a starting point when you are looking at the whole picture. 
So take a step back. Take a breather. Make a plan. Find allies. And start small.
Mckenzi... it broke my heart to hear that you left us today. You were a beautiful soul, because for the time I shared with you I grew as a person. I was inspired by your strength and beauty, that even while you have gone through so much, you were the sweetest, kindest person. We met for a reason, and even though we talked after the prom and planned on meeting each other we never got around to it. I completely regret not being able to see you again. Being able to hug you one last time 😔
At 14 you were told something no one would want to hear, and after several years you were able to be strong through ovarian cancer and neuroblastoma.
I am so fortunate to have met you in California and hear your story. You told me how you had your heart set on being a marine biologist. Where we waited in line for pictures and laughed as we talked. You were cancer free when we met. But as soon as you landed back home you found that you had more cancer. I remember messaging you to check up on how you were doing, and let you know that I was always here for you.
I remember watching your video of you shaving all of your hair off, because you knew that you weren’t going to let cancer control you. Little did you know how much of an impact you made from that one video. Thousands of people saw that video and were inspired by your strength 🥰
Mckenzi’s family has a go fund me to help raise money to give her a proper farewell, so please do what you can to help this beautiful girl. The link can be found on her page @mckenzi426 -
Your battle was a strong one, and you fought hard through the end. Your smile warms my heart. We love you girlie... I love you. And you will always be remembered 💗
A little something for you to think about on #motivationalmonday 🌿✨ I think society can shape us without our consent, and we don’t have a say in it. Sometimes we don’t even realize it. Just taking a step back and self-reflecting can help you find yourself.
As a young woman, I admit that I sometimes struggle with how I view myself. And I know I’m not alone.

@Gimmeavoice is a San Diego based apparel company that seeks to unite & empower women to speak up for themselves, particularly women with low-self esteem.

Gimme a Voice has partnered with @btsadv and part of their proceeds from their items (like this BEAUTIFUL shirt 🤩) goes towards helping women that are victims of domestic violence.

Many women and girls need our help. So please head over to @gimmeavoice and support their cause 💓
“I wouldn’t be surprised if she blew up the school” - said my classmate
“Their clothing intimidates me” - said my teacher
In today’s world, I have heard a lot hate towards muslim people. That we are only terrorists. A threat to society. As a young muslim girl I have definitely seen it, whether it’s  coming from classmates or politicians. 
I recently faced a problem at my school where a toxic friend was saying racist things about me to my friends. To be perfectly honest, it hurt me. I felt attacked and alone and only seen as different. But one FaceTime call from @mmadimasonn changed that for me. I sat there and broke down in front of her and she told me: “People can rent space in your head. Don’t let negative people rent space in your head, because they are worth it. Don’t cry for 5 minutes about something that won’t matter in 5 years. Your friends know the truth, and he isn’t making you look worse but is instead making himself look worse. So don’t let him take away your worth, because the only perfect person sees your worth and put you here for a reason.” I realized that I wasn’t seen as different. The people that matter in my life are there for me and are here to bring me up and not tear me down. My mentor and friend @erinschrode showed me that there may be people that try and bring you down because you are different, but others will help bring you back up and make you even stronger than before.

So thank you to everyone that has been here for me. Bringing me up when others are trying to bring me down. Find friends that you can look up to, and that can give you advice. I have came out of this as a stronger person, and I have my close friends closer, and my toxic ones farther away.
This was a life changing trip 🌎 Going across the planet and seeing hundreds of youth speaking up empowered me and opened my eyes. Over 100 countries were represented and showed that young people across the globe are making their voices heard 🙌

Here is my speech for the Youthfull Festival, and if you want to watch the whole show (which I HIGHLY recommend 😏) than you can click the link in my bio.

Hopefully my message inspires young people to not wait for the future and start today🌟👊🏼