As Election Day approaches, many kids are wondering if they can make a difference. Allison Ofstein, 11, of Parkland, Florida, is proof that they can. She has written postcards to registered voters across the United States, encouraging them to cast ballots in the election.
Zakary Smith, 14, of Boynton Beach, has been politically inspired since participating in civics class. “If we start speaking out as kids,” he said, “the habit will continue until we’re old enough to vote.”
Allison and Zakary not alone. Like many kids in my Florida community, they are speaking out about issues that matter to them in the election, including voting.
Becoming politically active, even before you can cast a ballot, is something that student and activist Ryan Servaites, 17, is passionate about. A high school senior in Parkland, Florida, Ryan co-founded March for Our Lives, a student-led group seeking to prevent gun violence.
“We’re an organization comprised of a diverse family of young organizers, activists, and changemakers who want to create a future America free of the gun violence that is prominent today,” Ryan told me during a recent interview via Zoom. Chapters across the country involve students, adults, and local leaders in community activism.