Youth Voices in the New Year

Essex County New Jersey Middle School Students

The following series is made up of student essays written in Ms. Rivera's social studies class. The original assignment asked students to create their own writing prompt for an argumentative essay, as long as it connected to our unit theme of "Uses and Abuses of Power." Students were encouraged to write about a topic that they were passionate about. As a result, essays of various different topics came forward such as racial justice, LGBTQ+ Rights, education reform, gender equality, and more. Each Sunday, student articles about different topics will be published. With this series, I hope to challenge the notion that "young people are too young to care," and instead have others recognize that our youth have a strong critical analysis of the world around them. Their voices are constant reminders of the greatness that is possible in this world, and it is my greatest hope that they are heard.