How the 2020 election impacts teens, even if unable to vote

NaomiDelkamiller

Right now our halls are filled with plaid skirts and respect, but some- day each of us will find ourselves in an environment where that layer of safety and protection is gone. Government teacher Mrs. Jillian Roger will no longer be there playing “devil’s advocate” to balance the conversation, and Mrs. Amy McLeay won’t be around to remind you about the psychology behind belief systems. So how will we know what to do when it is our generation’s turn to lead America?

Maria Corpuz is a Marian graduate from the Class of 2013 who is now involved in the Omaha political scene. In preparation for Nov. 3, Corpuz is delivering materials for a variety of candidates, phone banking and sharing educational media on her socials.

Almost eight years out of Marian, Corpuz said, “Marian helped me understand my own voice and what empowerment means. It’s clear Marian has helped you guys, too.”

In this election, only 40 Marian girls are eligible to vote and just 28 percent of Marian students are actively campaigning for a candidate right now, but quite a few of us have used our voice in another way.

“My friend Devin [Miss Devin Owens, Marian’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion] wouldn’t have come to Marian without the level of change that you guys pushed for. This is really empowering to me,” Corpuz said. She believes that Gen Z is really stepping up. “You are straight up seeing the world for what it is.”

The impacts of the upcoming election have yet to be discovered, but Corpuz said she believes that there is a lot at stake, not just for voters, but for teens as well. According to the New York Times, the 2020 U.S. election will decide the direction of many contentious issues; climate change legislation, gun control, continued pandemic response, the Supreme Court and the process of redrawing electoral districts to name
a few. Although these issues can feel distant to our teenage world, Corpuz suggests that Marian girls, “understand that politics affect your everyday life and the people that you love. You have power to make change when you believe in your role in democracy.”

Although most of us are unable to vote in this election, our generation is already leading the country in an unprecedented way by standing up for our beliefs in creative ways. By starting small we are setting up a future political culture where rhetoric matters, empathy matters and our voices matter.

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