We’re in a time of change.
All across the country, people are raising their voices in an attempt to be heard. From movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp, to gun violence and the March For Our Lives, people are desperately trying to get the attention of the government.
But something is different this time. Some of the most major protests are being led by high school students.
Looking most recently at the Parkland students, it can’t be denied that young people can make a tremendous impact. All throughout history, our country has been led by young adults. By the time he was 22, George Washington was commanding an army. By the age of 22, Alexander Hamilton became a senior aide to George Washington. When he was 25, James Madison drafted Virginia’s state constitution.
Voices of young adults are being heard again, and we are forces to be reckoned with. These four 20-somethings (and younger!) are hoping to make a splash in their local government.
- Alex Karjeker, Age 28
Running for Texas State House District 219, Alex moved with his parents to Clear Lake, Texas at a young age with his younger brother Philip and his grandmother, Khadija. He grew up accompanying his father to vote to witness “the beauty of American democracy”. Alex believes that while “politics is never going to be comfortable”, it is important to realize “you can disagree with someone and still have a reasonable conversation.”
- Kelly Danner, Age 29
Kelly is running for County Board Supervisor, District 11, in Dane County, Wisconsin. If elected, she hopes to “engage [her] community” in the discussion of issues, “protect [their] environment,” and focus on serving the “vulnerable populations” in her county with “energy, expertise, and transparency”. Kelly works at a locally owned equine veterinary business managing the budget and well as helping patients and staff.
- Cooper Richason, Age 17
Cooper is running for a Seat on the Board of Education in Wisconsin. He started his involvement on the board in his sophomore year of high school, when he created a student advisory position. He believes he has a “passion and dedication” for serving on the board and hopes to instill some changes within the community.
- Kristen Powers, 24
Kristen is running for Alamance County Board of Commissioners in North Carolina. Kristen grew up with the mentality that, if something is bothering her, it’s best to “stop complaining and do something”. A recipient of the White House’s Champion of Change recognition, Kristen has worked since the third grade to protect animals and the environment. She hopes to be elected in order to take advantage of the “opportunity that lives” in her community.
We are a nation of young adults who can make a difference. Use your voice to inspire change where change is needed.
And if you’re a young woman looking to get involved in politics, here’s an amazing organization to check out that can help get you started.