I’d like us all to think back to high school. Think about classes, teachers, and the friends we had. We were so stressed about getting into college and getting good grades. It was hard! I remember constantly feeling like there wasn’t enough time for school, friends, and family. I was struggling! Several kids are going through this process every day and they feel the exact same emotions that we did.
I graduated high school in December and have finished my first week of college. I can confidently say that high school is way worse than college. In high school, we are treated as children and are never asked what we need. We as high schoolers are asked to do 90% of what college students do, yet we aren’t given a say related to issues that directly affect us. This is frustrating!
When I felt this, I decided to join Student Voice Student Vote, a team that is working on expanding the voting age to 16 years old for school board elections. Given everything we face while at school, we don’t have anyone to represent our decisions. We should be able to hold our leaders accountable and vote them out if necessary. For example, if my school’s art program was cut and I wanted to do something about it, I could. I could elect a school board representative who would prioritize the arts program and find the money for it somewhere else.
We need leaders who listen to student voice. The only way to do that is to allow students to vote in school board elections.
By Guest Blogger: Mariam Gopalani. Mariam is a student leader at Project VOYCE, a local organization which works to develop transformational leaders in underrepresented communities.