4 Reasons Why Changemakers Want a Presidential Youth Council

Grant Jirka
July 25, 2013

In addition to the numerous lawmakers, youth councils and individuals that support the Campaign for a Presidential Youth Council, the Top 24 Under 24 Youth Changemakers also believe young people deserve a seat at the table. Here's why the Top 24 back our campaign for a national advisory youth council to the President and administration on youth issues.

1. Youth want a say in their futures.

Why do people have a savings account or a retirement fund? Why do people have insurance? The answer is: People are concerned about their future.

Peter Petrin, one of the Top 24 Under 24, states, “Youth are equal stakeholders in the success of our democracy and the ideas that they bring to the table are molded from an underrepresented perspective of having our national future in mind. We cannot make decisions for the next generation if we want our nation to continue to prosper; we must make decisions with them.”

Peter and many other youth are trying to look out for their futures as well. Having a Presidential Youth Council will enable youth to at least have a say in which direction their future is headed instead of sitting back and watching the course change right before their eyes.

2. We have opinions, too.

With technology so accessible today, young men and women are exposed to the intricacies of the world much earlier than generations before. They read about treaties being signed, human rights violations being committed, economic reforms being created and health care policies being changed. After learning about these different initiatives, they form strong opinions that are just as valuable as adults.

Top 24 Changemaker Abigail Mariam expressed, “The Presidential Youth Council could be a powerful conduit for young people to communicate their ideas for domestic and global policy changes.”

3. Bridging the generation gap.

There seems to be a divide between adults and youth in this country these days. Top 24 Under 24 Jeffrey Graham stated, “A Presidential Youth Council is an incredible opportunity to demonstrate just how engaged youth are in today’s major issues and in planning for the future. When youth are involved with policies that affect them, they are more likely to discuss them with their peers."

We also see a Presidential Youth Council as an opportunity to help youth and adults find common ground. "A Presidential Youth Council will help youth understand how and why policies are made, perhaps allowing them better insight into the process, which could lead to an optimal solution,” Graham continued.

Hence, both sides of a debate can gain a new perspective on important issues, which will promote the creation of legislation that better represents the diverse fabric of America.

4. Youth need to be the experts Informing lawmakers about youth issues.

Top Changemaker Adam Lopez Falk told the Campaign, “My 9th grade teacher always said, ‘Good writers write about what they know.’ I believe good lawmakers write laws based on what they know, but it’s difficult to accurately support a segment of people that is underrepresented in our political process. I believe young people like you and me must have opportunities to lead. If not now, then when?”

With the establishment of a Presidential Youth Council, the President of the United States and lawmakers will be equipped with the opinions of diverse youth from across the country. With this knowledge, lawmakers will be able to make better laws and make more informed decisions on matters that affect the American public.

The Campaign for a Presidential Youth Council would like to thank all of the youth changemakers and their supporters for making a difference in their communities--one voice or one project at a time.

Right now, the changemakers of my generation are calling for a Presidential Youth Council because they want to sit at the table and help make the decisions that are currently affecting them. The youth of today are the future leaders of this great country tomorrow. Why not give them a chance? Will you stand with the numerous legislators, youth councils and youth changemakers across the country and support our Campaign?

Tell us why you support the Campaign for a Presidential Youth Council by sending an e-mail to info@presidentialyouthcouncil.org.

Grant Jirka is a first-year biomedical engineering, pre-med student at Duke University. He joined the Campaign for a Presidential Youth Council in April 2012 and has been involved in other various state and national youth councils since he was a freshman in high school. He is currently the Director of New Media for the Campaign for a Presidential Youth Council.

This blog is part of the youth-curated Campaign for a Presidential Youth Council blog, in partnership with SparkAction.