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February 29, 2008

Join Dumbledore's Army: Take Part in International Be Awesome Day

    This week's Extra Ink was written by Catherine N., a student at Wheaton Warrenvile South High School.

    Today, February 29th, is International Be Awesome Day, the finale of Be Awesome Month (February). Be Awesome Day is dedicated to the loving actions you can take today, whether it's to brighten someone else's day or to help the needy and suffering.

    The Awesome movement started with two Harry Potter fans on the Internet, who run the online Ministry of Awesome blog--which honors Harry Potter-inspired music--and the Cauldrons and Chocolate Frogs Harry Potter e-zine. They launched the Awesome movement when they realized that they could not honor a Harry Potter band on February 29, since the band could then only celebrate their awesomeness every leap year. Instead, they decided to honor the awesomeness displayed in everyday loving actions around the world.

    The Harry Potter Alliance, which aims to follow Dumbledore's example of love by rescuing the suffering in Darfur, has adopted Be Awesome Day. The Harry Potter Alliance had gained a lot of momentum recently, with coverage in the Chicago Tribune, New York Post, the New York Times bestseller Not on Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond, and Do Something's website. On the Harry Potter Alliance website, the founder, Andrew Slack, points out that J.K. Rowling herself used to work for Amnesty International when she started writing the Harry Potter books. He believes her writing glows with a dedication to love and social justice.

    Just look at Hermione and her compassion for house elves. Sound anything like a passion for abolition of slavery to you? If you want to join a real-world S.P.E.W. (Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare), visit the modern-day slavery organization Loose Change to Loosen Chains--started by teenager Zach Hunter--at www.lc2lc.com.

    Check out Be Awesome Day at www.be-awesome.com and the Harry Potter Alliance at www.thehpalliance.org.

    Need ideas on how you can be awesome today? Read my make-a-difference blog at teenswithavision.blogspot.com or myspace.com/teenswithavision, or on the Teens With a Vision Facebook group.

    P.S. In April, Teen Ink is doing a special College issue, so send us your college essays, personal statements, or college reviews. Tell us about what it was like visiting a certain campus, or about how stressful or inspiring it is to apply to college. You can submit your work by clicking here.

    Find Teen Ink on Facebook and MySpace and join our online community! And don't forget to tell your friends about Extra Ink.

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