Recently, there has been an uprising of young voices across America. Sparked by the tragedy that occurred at Parkland High School, students from nearly every state have chosen to take a stand on gun violence. On March 14, students everywhere peacefully took a stand by walking out of their schools for seventeen minutes. On March 24, “March For Our Lives” protests sprung up at every corner of our nation.
These protests are unique because they are driven by voices that are too often silenced: the voices of the youth. Despite resistance, young voices are becoming increasingly louder in this day and age. And that’s exactly how it should be.
Adults often underestimate the power of young voices. Teachers may silence opinionated students, parents may shush outspoken kids at the dinner table, and politicians might ignore young voices protesting on their doorsteps. Although the older generation will always try to prove it otherwise, we must remember as young people that we have just as much power (if not more) than those above us.
We are an incredibly powerful generation. We have grown up reading young adult novels about kids who make an impact on their world. We have grown up watching the news and hearing our families discuss politics, slowly but surely allowing us to form our own opinions about how the world should run. We learn about history and government at school, we notice the injustices, and we decide it is time for change. We have always had opinions, and now that others like us have taken a stand, we are building our confidence and finding platforms to voice them.
The older generations can not ignore us for much longer. Enough is enough. We are the future—someday we will make up the politicians, teachers, entrepreneurs, and innovators that run this nation. By protesting, we take strides in forming the future we will eventually live in.
Stay educated, keep yourself informed, and speak for what you believe in. Vote for what you want to see in the world. History is made by the people who not only have opinions, but work up the courage to voice them. The recent protests on gun violence are a reminder that when young minds collaborate, they can start a movement that impacts millions. These protests are just the first in a long line of youth-driven movements that are to come. When they refuse to listen, we will scream louder.