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November 2, 2020

Student Voice: Every vote and voice deserves to be heard

Katrina Machetta goes door-to-door informing residents about voting dates, locations and handing out yard signs to spark political participation.

 

by Katrina Machetta, junior at Klein Collins High School, Spring, Texas

Even though I am too young to vote, age isn’t an obstacle for making a difference in my community.

Growing up in the town of Spring, Texas, outside of Houston, I was taught that regardless of a person’s age, ethnicity or background, each of us has the power to create change and start movements to accomplish specific goals. I never knew the power of my voice until I used it to create change in my community. As a junior in high school, I have been volunteering for almost every election for as long as I can remember.

Doing phone banking, registering people to vote, advocating for candidates and going door-to-door to inform voters are some of the many actions I take to be involved in our democracy.

Katrina Machetta is seen here canvassing a neighborhood with election materials.

During the 2018 Texas Senate Election, I advocated for the candidate that I believed would help support the causes I believed in. Going door to door, I realized that regardless of the outcome of the election, my efforts are supporting long-term change in this country that will, in turn, help generations after me.

Regardless who wins each election, I, along with my peers, will continue to stand up for what we believe in, even if adults aren’t always standing with us. By keeping politically informed and being civically engaged, young people are able to actively encourage and directly participate in change for a positive direction in our country.

Even without a ballot, I know my efforts helping others to get their voices heard will have an impact that goes beyond a single election, and that is exactly why I keep doing it.

Through volunteering, I have been able to get real in-the-field experience that helps me learn more about specific issues in the community and that also helps me to inform others about the inner workings of campaigns and governmental issues.

This historic election and the COVID-19 pandemic are helping people realize that our government leaders play a crucial role in many aspects of our lives from education to healthcare.

When I volunteer, I don’t stand for one party or one candidate, I stand for the American people. Through volunteering, I can amplify my peers’ voices on a bigger stage.

In school, I have learned about transformational civic movements from addressing racial injustices with Martin Luther King Jr. to addressing gender inequalities with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and I have come to realize that it only takes one person to spark a change in a whole country or the world.

When I volunteer, I don’t stand for one party or one candidate, I stand for the American people. Through volunteering, I can amplify my peers’ voices on a bigger stage.

To me, youth are the most powerful age group because through technological advancements such as social media, this generation of youth use their voices in a multitude of ways cascading beyond borders and into the world.

Don’t underestimate the power of one’s voice, because collectively we can change the world.

Katrina Machetta is a junior at Klein Collins High School in Spring, Texas. She has written for Legacy Press, Youth Journalism International, STEM Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Habitat for Humanity, among others. 


If you would like to contribute to Student Voice, please send your idea to Victoria Pasquantonio at vpasquantonio@newshour.org. For education news highlights, sign up here.

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