The notion that politics isn’t for young people is quickly changing. Around the world, more and more individuals age 35 and under are not just participating in the political process, but holding positions of power. In the United States, congresswomen such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 30, and Elise Stefanik, 35, are already prominent voices in their respective parties. In Europe, the trend is witnessed by leaders like Sebastian Kurz, the 33-year-old chancellor of Austria, or Finnish prime minister Sanna Marin, 34.
Even without holding office, young people are making an impact on policy decisions. Inspired by individuals like Kassy Dillon, David Hogg and Greta Thunberg, Forty-six percent of Americans ages 15 to 34 feel they can make a difference in the world of politics. This activism not only impacts the world but also the young individuals themselves by providing valuable and practical life skills. Here are three of the most popular ways young people are getting involved, and the benefits each has to offer.
Volunteering is a great introduction to political activism. It helps young people meet others with similar passions, fosters team-building skills and helps young learners earn scholarships or college admission.
Whether in a group of like-minded activists or as an individual, young people can have a powerful voice among lawmakers. Interacting in person, by phone or via the written word encourages individuals to be informed on current events and issues and helps to build a variety of communication skills. Getting in touch with politicians has never been easier; several online tools are available to help people contact elected representatives.
Today’s youngest generations grew up online, and that familiarity has provided an avenue for activism. Writing or posting to internet blogs, participating in social media campaigns, starting petitions and submitting editorials to publications and websites can amplify a young person’s voice while encouraging written communication skills and developing proficiency in persuasion and debate.
Some of today’s mightiest voices are coming from the youngest mouths. Regardless of age, you can have a say in the world around you through these platforms.