Teen uses web to encourage youths to get into action
When Ethan Thompson, resident of Oakfield, speaks to you, he moves you because he sees you. He looks right at you, and his words are strong like his eyes. After speaking with him you can tell his spirit is on fire for God.
How can I make my mark for God? Was a question that pushed forth his Web site youthinactionmag.com.
“Encouraging this generation to get in action,” is his drive and tagline for the site.
Thompson said the site is to encourage and give positive ideas for Christian teenagers.
Thompson went to the library once a week for a year, reading about how to build and manage your own Web site. He brings in his own income from selling things here and there on EBay.
“If I don’t make any money, then whatever,” said Thomas who continued by saying its more about the positive message he wants to send.
“I wanted to make a bigger difference in the world,” said Thompson, “I wanted to have an outlet to express my feelings and things.”
A year ago the site was basic HTML and Thompson decided to hire someone to design something new.
Thompson who enjoys web developing more than design said in a year from now the site will have more content, and more podcasting. He hopes to have a writer other than himself.
His parents are very supportive and help proofread and review the content of his articles. He gets their viewpoint and said it is always great to have different perspectives on an idea. Right now he is seeing about 50 visits a day and said when he has a new article posted the site gets much more attention.
“It’s an ever-changing process,” said Thompson, “You can never have a perfect Web site because technology is always changing.”
Thomas attended St. Paul’s and is now home-schooled. Thompson has the discipline to set aside time for his school work, and completely focus on it until it’s done
“I don’t have to worry about walking to the next class, or lunch, or study halls,” said Thompson, “Mine is all a study hall.”
Thompson chooses to take a stand against the question he says society demands, “How can I be satisfied or entertained?”
He talked about the negative aspect to social networking like Facebook and Myspace saying the sites allow you to be someone who is viewed as cool. It doesn’t matter whether or not you as a person agree with who you are choosing to be online, because online you can be anyone.
He is very active in his youth group at Genesee Country Church. He also has his black belt and loves mountain bike riding.
He spends about 4-5 hours a day on the computer working on his site.
“Your mind thinks your working, but your not really working, your not doing anything physical,” said Thompson. So after 4 or 5 hours he will enjoy his quiet time reading the bible, or thinking about his favorite verse, Romans 3:23. The verse sets up everything he does.
What makes Ethan so true to the meaning of Christianity is his spirit to encourage others, and he is doing this in a big way, with his own Web site.
Although he loves this experience, he said he doesn’t want to get into Web design in college.
“I would want to major in Marketing or Broadcasting,” said Thompson. He likes to do tech related things and commented that he isn’t even sure if college is for him because of the costs. But the almost 15-year-old already sees the truth of the world and is doing something to encourage others is something a college degree could never teach anyways.