The teenage generation in this country are our leaders of tomorrow. Their political attitudes are shaped by unique experiences and diverse backgrounds, so it’s essential that they learn more about politics and get involved so they can channel their energies towards effecting a positive change.
There are many opportunities to give youth exposure to the political atmosphere. Getting involved in local youth councils or advisory boards allow teens to meet with local politicians and possibly sit in on city council meetings. They are then given a firsthand look at how decisions are made in local government, which is useful for them because they can see how these decisions have a direct impact on their lives.
Another great way to get involved is for teens to research the district representative in their area and inquire about internships within their office. These internship programs provide young people exposure to district and legislative operations as well as the activities of a council member’s work. They’ll have the chance to organize civic events, conduct community outreach efforts, and other key tasks.
There are numerous benefits to youth being involved in politics. For example, if they are engaged in politics, they will be more inclined to serve in their communities in areas such as health, education and charity work. This level of involvement will continue as they grow older and the years of experience will refine their understanding of how civil engagement in our country works—especially when they are able to vote, sign petitions, and even run for office themselves.
Engaging youth and teens in the political process isn’t just beneficial in the short-term, but it also lays the foundation for strong political engagement in the future. It is crucial that they recognize that they are tomorrow’s leaders and with that in mind, have more involvement in how their future looks. As their parents, teachers, and mentors, we should also be supportive in giving them the tools and opportunities to learn and steer their participation in the right direction.