Time to Say Goodbye

December 15, 2008

For the past year I've had the opportunity to write for both WireTap and Rock the Trail (a project of WireTap and Rock the Vote) on the youth movement and national elections. It's been a tremendous opportunity to cover an historic election at a pivotal moment when young people have come out en masse to showcase our political power. But after countless blog posts, feature stories and interviews, it's time for me to move on.

This adventure has been such a great learning experience as well as a great opportunity to meet new people. I have to give high high props to Tomas, Kristina, and Jamilah who have been so amazing and helped me develop my writing skills. While I've been a blogger for some time, I've never had any real journalism training and their guidance has been so helpful, especially Jamilah who puts up with me the most!

I was motivated to get involved in politics after accruing serious debt during my undergrad years. I wanted to work to help make college more affordable. College affordability and helping develop the middle class have always been key issues that brought me both to progressive causes and to the youth movement. I have worked hard to report on these issues while also offering ways that you can get involved in speaking out for affordable education. Now, we're in the midst of massive political change and a worsening economic crisis. There's still so much work left to be done, so many words to be said.

This writing opportunity and your vigilant readership have allowed me the chance to learn about issues I might not have otherwise. Whether its the developing technologies we're using to organize online or our global relationships to youth in other cultures, I've learned a lot about the ways in which we growing as a movement. I've learned through you.

Moving forward, I will continue to do features on events and stories as the new legislative session gets started. You can also continue to find me at Future Majority where my writing has been featured for the last few years. While things get a little wonky over there some times, I always try to make it a little funny.

If you ever have issues or ideas you would like to see featured, or have questions you'd like addressed in more detail as part of a youth guide to politics, please don't hesitate to contact me. I'm eager to cover new story angles!

Thank you all so much for your continued enthusiasm to building a more thoughtful and informed youth movement. You are all much powerful than you think you are, and in the coming year I urge you to reach out to office holders and demand action on the issues that matter most to you. Stay determined! As Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) told me in an interview earlier this year:

"The election is like the pep-rally before the big game. Then the real work begins," he said, "and young voters must be a part of the process."

Thanks again!

Sarah Burris was raised in Oklahoma and graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in English Creative Writing with a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies. She was a reporter for Rock the Trail -- a project of Rock the Vote and WireTap. Her writing has also appeared at Future Majority and Everyday Citizen.