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Civic Engagement Among Teenagers

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Rae Malik
Copy Editor

Civic Engagement is doing service for the community that help develop a set of skills. Civic engagement can be both political and non-political. Oftentimes civic engagement is able inspire people to create change within one’s community. There is a goal for civic engagement which is well being of the democracy.

In the past few year young Americans are starting to get involved in politics and voicing their concerns. The polls in the recent 2016 election show that millenials about 50% voted of which about 19% of votes were from 18 to 29 year olds. A poll by the Institution of Politics at Harvard University conducted showed that in the midterm election Americans under the age of 30 are expected to have an increased voter turnout and confirming that 40% would surely vote this election.

I think it’s important that teens stand up for what they believe in because despite what they might think, all this policy does affect them and their loves. With gun reforms, it especially hit home because of our lockdown last year. It’s important to support politicians who support you, which you can do through door knocking, phone banking, or if you’re 18 voting”

— Gabriella Bann

“Part of the reason why voter turnout rate is low for youth because they do not often see the connection between voting and taking part in the community”, English teacher Jarrett Lundquist said.

Michael X. Delli Carpini, director of public policy program of the Pew Charitable Trusts, believes that civic engagement among teenagers is crucial. His research states that in the past decade there has been an enormous decline in civic engagement among the youth. One of the main reasons why teenagers do not get involved is because they are not intrigued by politics and their lack of interest in current events.

“Teenagers in high school are not interested in politics or civic engagement due to the fact that most of them are not involved in their communities”, junior Svea Torgerson said.

Molly Andolina, a political science Associate Professor at DePaul University, reveals that high school civic engagement leads to more involvement in the future. Most students in high school who volunteer and do community service projects continue to do this even when they become adults. Volunteering and getting involved in the community is a good learning experience and helpful later on in life.

Teenagers use social media to voice their concerns, according to Howard Rheingold, writer and teacher specializing in media communication. A way for young people to get involved is by encouraging other on social media to do something such as voting. Young people are able to use apps on social media such as to communicate their worries to their representatives.

“I think it’s important that teens stand up for what they believe in because despite what they might think, all this policy does affect them and their loves. With gun reforms, it especially hit home because of our lockdown last year. It’s important to support politicians who support you, which you can do through door knocking, phone banking, or if you’re 18 voting”, senior Gabriella Bann said

Calling Representatives is another way to get involved civically and also has been proven to be more effective than emailing the representatives. It is more effective to call because as the message is written down and compiled towards the end of the month. People who call are able to give their concerns and may even get their message through to their representatives which makes a difference.

Civic Engagement can also have many health benefits for the youth. According to a study done by Parissa J. Ballard, Associate Professor at Wake Forest School of Medicine, showed that civic engagement can lead to decreased signs of depression. The study also suggests that voting and volunteering have the equal effect and benefits of activism.

To be helpful during the election teeanger can work as poll worker program that they can get paid for. The general requirements to apply is being 16 by Election Day and having a minimum grade point average of 2.5. Becoming a poll worker is encouraged throughout high schools in California by the California Secretary of State.

Civic Engagement is able to teach many young people about surrounding social issues that affects them and helps them prepare for it. Getting involved civically helps youth get involved in issues that surround them and they can take part in it which allows them to get their voices heard.

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About the Writer
Rae Malik, Copy Editor

My name is Rabia Malik but I go by Rae. This is my third year working with The Spartan Speaks Newspaper. I am currently a junior at Orono High School....

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Civic Engagement Among Teenagers