Meet the 22×20 Fellows

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School: South Mountain High School
Host Organization: Jaguar News
Year Born: 2002
Views on teen activism:
I believe that students and teens should get involved in youth activism because everyone should be heard no matter age or gender. What I would tell someone who wants to get involved, but is not sure where to start, would be to seek your school counselor or teacher.

Claire H.

Kentucky fellow

School: Marshall County High School
Host Organization: Inspire
Year Born: 2001
Views on teen activism:
I believe that everyone should be civically engaged if they feel strongly about an issue. Being involved in activism has given me a confidence and strong convictions that have made me a better person and I know that this could be the case for anyone. I think finding the right resources and people are the most important parts. I would suggest finding an already established club or organization that you like to align yourself with. Find peers that share your values and learn what they're doing to get involved. If all else fails, do it yourself. Start a club, talk to a politician about what you can do to help, do something. You don't have to move mountains, you just have to move.

Madison H.

Maryland fellow

School: Bard High School Early College Baltimore
Host Organization: Wide Angle Youth Media
Year Born: 2002
Views on teen activism:
I think teens should get involved in youth activism because you never know when you might make history, and even if you don't, there is an incredible feeling that comes with standing up for something you wholeheartedly feel is right. As someone who once wondered where to start, I would advise teens who are interested to do what they can. Repost a story that speaks to you, research issues that affect you, and keep talking to people about the things that mean something to you.

Raven J.

Oklahoma fellow

School: Booker T Washington High School
Host Organization: Oklahoma Youth and Government
Year Born: 2000
Views on teen activism:
I think teens and other students should get involved in youth activism because the world as it is will eventually be your future and if you are not prepared for it, then it will run you over and you will not have the chance to make your opinions known. I would say the first thing that someone should do is to find something that they are interested in and then research it and come up with your own educated opinion on the matter.

Charlotte S.

South Carolina fellow

School: Mauldin High School
Host Organization: SC YMCA Youth in Government
Year Born: 2001
Views on teen activism:
I think that students and teens should be activists because our voices are missing in almost all the conversations. Every decision that is being made right now will affect us for the rest of our lives. We have the energy and the enthusiasm that can make a difference, if we only step up and speak up. I say pick an issue and reach out! If you're interested in politics, research the candidates, and volunteer. Every candidate has a website and has a link to volunteer. And take my word for this, if you're a high school student and you volunteer for a political candidate, you will be a celebrity! They will treat you like you're the most amazing young person on the planet, and you will love it. But if you're not political, pick something you care about and reach out. There are organizations that are working on every issue. Are you an environmentalist? Research those organizations, and volunteer! Are you concerned about safety in your community? Find those organizations. The hardest part is reaching out and putting yourself out there. Another tip - if you've got a friend who is interested in getting involved, do it together. It means you won't be the only high school student in the campaign office, and you'll be happy to have a friend.

Our California Fellows

Sophia A.

School: Convent of the Sacred Heart high school
Host Organization: KQED
Year Born: 2002

Kheyla P.

School: James Logan Highschool
Host Organization: Filipino Advocates for Justice
Year Born: 2002

Sumer H.

West Virginia fellow

School: Hannan Junior/Senior High
Host Organization: Inspire WV
Year Born: 2001
Views on teen activism:
We are the future. We determine how our lives are going to continue. If we want a better future, we have to pave the path. Start wherever you feel comfortable – the couch, on social media; your school, starting a club; the community, leading a rally. The possibilities are endless. No change is too big or to small to be worth it.

Eva P.

Virginia fellow

School: Renaissance School
Host Organization: Virginia YMCA Youth and Government
Year Born: 2000
Views on teen activism:
Young people can be the most inspiring population for a community to see take action. I encourage my friends who wish to take action to research local non profits that share similar values and to reach out to these groups asking how they can help. Non profits and other community organizations are often very welcoming to youth hoping to make a difference and can help set up volunteer and internship opportunities.

Tatum T.

School: William Howard Taft High School
Host Organization: Mikva Challenge
Year Born: 2000
Early activism and political involvement is absolutely essential. When you engage in civics at young age, you are more likely to stay engaged. Apathy is our enemy, and allowing yourself time to formulate opinions and understand the political process can help create an informed community eager to create change.