From a young age, I was taught that politics was out of reach for young people. Politics was treated as something above my head, only for the elite and the extremely wealthy. Part of this belief stemmed from the fact that there was no one who looked even remotely likely in politics. I didn't learn that people other than old white men could be involved in politics until around sixth grade, so I never perceived political involvement as something attainable for people of my age, gender, or skin color.
I am so overjoyed to say that has changed.
I can see myself in politics now. I look around me and I see young people my age who look like me making real, tangible change. Teenage girls like myself organized a protest for Black Lives Matter in my area, gathering hundreds of protestors to march in solidarity. A student at FSU has started raising funds for Yemen by selling succulents in the Tallahassee area. Every day on Instagram I see posts raising awareness on all different issues, celebrating successes, and creating inclusive platforms. One of my close friends started a campaign taking old yard signs printed for local elections and enlisted my friends and I as artists to repaint them with activist slogans. There is no end to the skills and talents young people are currently putting to use. Everything from baking to jewelry making to graphic design, we have mobilized towards causes that we believe in. Whatever your skills are, the world needs you. The world needs you to stand and organize that protest, to make that social media a safe space, to speak out for survivors, to not just share your story but to scream it from every platform until the people in power have no choice but to listen.
We have been blessed with this beautiful thing called youth. We may not have a lot of money or resources, but we have the time and the energy to take the world by storm. Let us use what we have been given well. This is the power of youth.