Rhythm & Views by Cassie Pociask

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Dujuanna Grell poses for a picture while talking about the importance of government.

The Politics of Being a Teenager

Growing up, children are often told that they just would not understand what is going on in the world. When all that mattered was who got the best swing or who won Monopoly, who can blame an adult for telling this to a four or five year old.

But, once a child reaches a certain age, current affairs should become a much larger issue, and become much more involved than they had.

In the past couple of months we have all seen and heard political campaigns and pictures. But how many of us have actually become involved in our local governments? Being the next generation is a large responsibility. Teenagers must learn about government now so that we are able to make decisive and educational decisions in the futures that lie ahead of us.

So are you wondering, how can you, as a teenager living in the Virgin Islands, become involved in government?
Well, there are actually many ways to become involved. Whether it is volunteering at a political office, becoming involved in your school’s government, or even just talking about it at school, you can do it.

Political candidates are constantly looking for volunteers. From making posters to organizing offices, any candidate could use extra help. This is a great way to not only get involved in your local government, but also support the candidate of your choice.

Most often, schools will have some sort of student government. This is a great way to become involved in the democratic process.

I am actually in my school’s Student Government in which I hold the position of Vice President of the student body. It is incredible to know that I could be making a difference and an impact on my school.

Students such as Dujuanna Grell, a junior at Eudora Kean High School, took getting in-volved with government to the next level. She attended a summer school where for four weeks she ate and slept politics. When asked why teenagers should get involved with government she responded, “We deserve to know what’s going on in our society. It all boils down to our lifestyle and our community. Only we can change it.”

She is absolutely right; we must take charge, which is exactly what she did. Finding a summer program to go to over the summer is a great way to get involved. Many may be found on-line, or you could talk to a student counselor to see if they have any suggestions.

If you are already involved in your student government, but do not know how to get fellow peers  into politics. The best way is to talk about it with local peers. Whether at lunch, during study hall, or even just walking to your next class, the best way for students to get involved is to be informed.

Even if you are not old enough to vote yet, you must try to encourage those who can to use this privilege. We live in the land of the free, the land of democracy. We should not ignore the rights we are given. Voting is the best way to exercise our political powers.

So whatever it may be, from student government, to just talking to your friends in the hallways, getting involved in government is vital for the future of our country and island. It is not only educational and beneficial but it is a way for you to get involved in the issues of your community. If every student became involved in at least one activity having to do with politics, leadership, or government, than I am sure that we could make America a better place to live, not only for ourselves, but also the future generations of America and the world.