July 2022

History in the Making

Students Witness Supreme Court History

by Grace Timan

Being too young to vote, and old enough to be affected by a policy puts you in an interesting position. At this in-between age, it can feel helpless at times.

Throughout my teenage years, one thing that has characterized my interests is a passion to fight for what I believe in, in any capacity possible. As I move through life I am learning what exactly this means for my life and how to get involved in a productive manner. 

When I found out about the recent leak of the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade, I was on a school trip to Washington D.C. I was with all of my friends and you could immediately see the shock that shrouded the room. Being too young to vote, and old enough to be affected by a policy puts you in an interesting position. At this in-between age, it can feel helpless at times. We are constantly told by adults that our generation will be the change, that is our job to fix the problems that have been left behind. We hear this calling almost daily, yet without the capacity to vote it can be frustrating. It brings up the question, what can we as teenagers even do?

In D.C. we were interviewing people working in public service in different regards, everyone from senators to museum curators. Throughout all interviews, there was a theme that today’s problems are integral for our generation to work on and resolve. We took advantage of the opportunity to be in such a significant place and went to the Supreme Court to observe, learn and participate in the protest. This was one of the most surreal experiences I’ve ever had. Everyone is passionate, it’s hard not to get aggravated by these opposing opinions. The adults stressed to us the importance of supporting one another as opposed to arguing with the other side. 

Fighting for this cause made me so emotional. It felt hopeless, like my actions were insignificant, especially due to my age. It wasn’t until hours after the protest that I got a message that I was on the cover of the New York Times. Just hours ago, it felt like I couldn’t make a major impact as a teenager, but there I was on one of the biggest media outlets in the world fighting for something I believed in. After this experience, we carried a new perspective into the interviews, asking all of these individuals how we could further make the change as teenagers.

As I mentioned before, throughout the interviews we noticed a plethora of overlapping lessons. The main takeaways we gained as a group were first, to never be complacent. As teenagers, and in this case, specifically as women, we can no longer assume that our rights are guaranteed. Secondly, we were told to pick one issue we care about deeply and then put all of our energy into finding solutions. Finally, find places where our work is going to make an impact in a palatable yet sizable way. We were encouraged to do deeper research, for example finding local smaller nonprofits with fewer resources in which our time, money, and talents would be put to use in a more direct application. Overall, we must always continue the fight and work to move progress forward.

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