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The Community Center: Leading

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 someday.

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Last updated on December 5, 2018

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