Encouraging Civic Engagement
Jonathan Seth Robbins, 3rd Place Winner
As an American teenager I may be 18 and eligible to vote, but even when I was 17 I still had rights to get involved in politics. The reasons why I got involved into politics is because there are some very important ideals that I, at the time, felt like I should have a say in. Even still, I feel like it is important to get involved into politics by campaigning, joining in a city hall meeting, fundraisers, peaceful protests, and doing research.
One reason I have involved myself into politics is because there are many ideals in my city, state, and country that I like and dislike. When I was 16, the 2016 Presidential Election was in progress, and I had joined the campaign for Hillary Clinton by donating my own money to the campaign. Not only have I done this, but I posted on Instagram a picture of me wearing a blue, American Eagle, t-shirt captioning, “#ImWithHer.” One factor that motivated me to participate into Hillary’s campaign was that she was pro-choice, in favor of the LGBTQ community, and was endorsed not only by the former President, but my second preferred democratic candidate. Another motive for joining the campaign on Hillary’s behalf wasn’t just that we see eye-to-eye, but there was no way I wanted a narrow-minded president.
A secondary reason I pushed myself into politics is because when I was 16 years old I knew I had a voice, but I also knew that I had ears that were meant for listening. If I sit down and join a city council meeting, then I will be listening to what problems and solutions that are in my community. Once I heard the problems that are in my community. This led my decision to get involved into politics by research, campaigning, and registered to vote on my 18th birthday.
One advantage that I was granted for getting involved into politics is that I now know more about myself. I learned more about who I am as a person. As a person with the ability to speak in any part of my government, this made me learn to pick a side of any political situation for the greater good. Politics also has granted me a voice in my government, and let me choose to use my voice. With my voice I can inform other Americans who vote whether or not they should sign a petition on a topic that they may or may not be for or against, so they can learn more about themselves.
The way an individual can get involved into politics is by simply joining a campaign, sitting in on a city council meeting, signing a petition for something that one strongly believes, starting a fundraiser, or by using social media. Here in Berryville High School there was a walkout for those who lost their lives due to the Florida School Shooting. Just joining this walkout is getting involved into politics. By stopping what an individual is currently doing to walk outside because they strongly believe that there should be stricter gun laws. This is just the same as joining a campaign, or sitting in a city council meeting, or even signing a petition because this is a physical involvement into politics.
I, an American teenager, would have to say that I am blessed to be apart of politics because I have never felt more free. Knowing that voting gives me a voice and a say in my government makes me happy to be not only a Democrat, but in this American Democracy, where at least I know I feel free to be able to cast my vote and my opinion, where my vote helps the justice for all. It makes me proud to be an American.