Being Active in Politics
Some teens show leadership by studying laws of the state or federal government and learning what it takes to make these laws improve people’s lives. Youth show leadership as they meet with elected officials and perhaps help people they trust to get elected or re-elected. Youth also may write letters, provide testimony, or lobby on behalf of others with disabilities at their state capitol or in Washington, D.C.
Check out this story:
Jim is a student who has ADHD and a learning disability. When he was in high school, his teachers didn’t want
to give him any extra help, and sometimes he got in trouble at school because he was bored. When Jim was 16, he learned
about IDEA and his rights as a student with a disability. Jim found out that his school wasn’t doing all the things
they were supposed to for students with ADHD or other emotional disabilities. Instead of telling his teacher off, Jim
decided to write a letter to his state representative, who then invited Jim to come and tell his story to other lawmakers
at the state capitol. Now Jim is on the Board of a state advocacy organization and has met several state legislators. He
is thinking about applying to attend the National Youth Leadership Forum for students with disabilities to learn more
about what is happening in Washington, D.C. for students with ADHD, and he has decided that he would like to be a lawyer
Try a Youthhood activity:
Browse a Web site:
- The Freechild Project: Youth-Led Social Activism (Freechild Institute) The Freechild Institute teaches youth and adults to work together and transform the world in positive, powerful ways.
- Global Response: Youth Action (TakingIT Global) Connections, tools, and resources to help youth understand and act on global challenges.
- Youth Activism Project (Youth Activism Project) Youth Activism Project provides support and resources, such as providing background information on the bills, coaching students on public speaking, bouncing around ideas, and providing space for debriefing and celebration.