The High School Student News Site of The American School in London

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The High School Student News Site of The American School in London

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Students, faculty reflect on youth involvement in politics

Luis O. Boettner/Flickr
The political spotlight on young people invokes conversation surrounding their involvement and impact on the socioeconomic climate. The High School has created spaces for students to become active around issues that concern them.

In recent years, the political climate has spotlighted young activists such as Greta Thunberg, Malala Yousafzai and the student survivors of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.. 

Director of Community Action Brandon Block said youth involvement in political issues has always been present in society. 

“There’s always been, historically, a really important role of young people in affecting political life and promoting changes, creating the world the way that they want it to be,” Block said.

Youth activism

According to an online survey conducted by The Standard Nov. 22 to Dec. 5, 60.9% of students believe that younger politicians and activists will create change within the socioeconomic climate.

Block said the school provides spaces for students to “become active around issues that are important to them.”

Similarly, Sam Hamilton (’23), Co-President of the Social Justice Council, said the council’s work includes education and awareness programs both in and outside of the school, which allows all members to become involved.

Hamilton said having a space for students to act is vital as they grow as individuals.

“It’s a very formative time of one’s life,” Hamilton said. “For many students, this is when they begin to discover their passions regarding social justice, politics, international relations, whatever that may be … The Social Justice Council provides that sort of platform and space to do that.” 

Furthermore, Block said he has seen students take independent action when specific topics have impacted them. 

“It was about five years ago when some of our students became particularly upset around gun violence in the United States,” Block said. “Students in the school organized and became quite active around that issue, and certainly made their voices heard.”


While Jelani Conteh (’26) is not yet eligible to vote, he said he frequently discusses the everchanging political climate and youth impact with his brother and parents.

“Society has this perspective, they don’t really see young people having knowledge about voting about who they think is right for the job,” Conteh said.

Moreover, Ava Porter (’22) said she looks forward to exercising the right to vote and believes it is one of the most important ways to impact policy. 

“My opportunity for my voice to be heard so that I can vote not just locally, but nationally, particularly with the 2024 election, that’s going to be big when it comes around,” Porter said.

Hamilton said the responsibility to vote is ingrained in many young people.

“Civic engagement as a whole is a component that our generation has embraced and picked up,” Hamilton said. “The youth vote as a whole is very insistent, [which] helps to kind of just maintain a sense of balance in the political spectrum.” 


Block said the perspective of the younger generation is inherently connected to their age and is advantageous.

“Young people see things with fresher eyes and are perhaps less constrained by their experiences than older people are,” Block said.

In addition, Hamilton said that young perspectives are shown through active engagement with political issues.

 “Our generation as a whole is very active, both politically and socially,” Hamilton said. “I think they have a strong moral compass of what they think is right and wrong.” 

Conteh said he is eager to learn more about the socioeconomic climate and feels many others in his generation want to join the conversation. 

“The younger people bring a new perspective as they learn about things like economics,” Conteh said. “They learn about things like democracy, like the government, and that can impact who’s going to be the next leader in the country.”

Meanwhile, Porter said she wants her perspective to be heard in the long term.

“The young generation sees a lot of what these policies are going to have an effect on for us and for the coming generation,” Porter said. “We have a more long-term view than a lot of what politics and policies are looking at right now.”

Ultimately, Block said the push for change brought by young people has the potential to build foundations for a successful political future.

“The world has huge challenges,” Block said. “The voices of young people and their fresh perspective and their passion are vital for creating this society that they want to see in the future.”

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About the Contributor
Yasmine Rivera, Media Team
Yasmine Rivera ('26) is a member of the Media Team for The Standard in Advanced Journalism.

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