This is Amelia. She is in eighth grade, loves to read, does Capoeira, babysits and is “passionate about using politics as a way to make our country and world more inclusive and compassionate, for everyone.”
Amelia was deeply involved in the 2016 presidential election, much more so than the average 13-year-old. Three days after the election she wrote a letter to the editor of the Dallas Morning News, and they published it. You can read the whole thing here, but here is an excerpt:
“I am ready to face forward and see my -- our -- many responsibilities that lie ahead. Now is the time to stand by the marginalized. Now is the time to stand by the people who are American, human and who matter: women, individuals of color, Muslims, the disabled -- our people.”
Her letter struck a chord, inspiring this response from one reader: “Thank you for printing this young lady's wonderful, heartfelt plea for compassion for others. She has done much to give this old retired teacher real hope for our future.”
Even though her candidate didn’t win, Amelia sees the next four years as an opportunity to work non-stop to create communities, build bridges (“those things can be way taller than walls”) and nurture her passion for activism.
She wants other young people to know that they can help bring needed change, and she shares this advice: “Know that you are powerful. Know that you are wonderful. Know that you matter, and that you can make others matter too. Share your talents, and remember that your message can really matter to someone else.”
Amelia’s hopes for the future? “I hope that someday we can find real ways to keep our people safe and that we can look upon each other with open hearts instead of closed ones. I hope that we can recognize our duty as humans to fight bigotry, and recognize that it is up to us to make peace and pick up the ones who have fallen. I hope that we can learn to hold hands, no matter who is next to us. I hope that we can treat our planet the way it should be treated. I hope that we can agree to disagree, but unite where it matters: on issues that affect the pursuit of happiness for all people.”
She is my hope for the future.