By: Kayra Dayi
As we enter 2023, it's important to remember the life-changing school shootings that occurred not that long ago. Robb Elementary school shooting, Oxford High School shooting, Chicago’s Benito Juarez Community Academy, and many more that we do not hear about. In the past year, there have been 51 school shootings, the highest number yet, leaving students’ safety in schools in question.
In this situation, we, as young teens who are not yet of voting age, can still have an impact by reaching out to our local organizations to help bring awareness and take action.
One teen who has done just that is Anya Pinto, a junior at American Heritage Plantation High School. “Because of how our society is structured, change takes time and effort, so it is important to get involved at a young age,” said Pinto. “It is important to recognize and help those who do not have the privileges we have.”.
She reached out to Bullets 4 Life, an organization formed in 2016 by moms who lost their children to gun violence, to partner with her organization, Action PAKT, which focuses on education, communication, and action.
Bullets 4 Life, which collects used bullets from high-crime neighborhoods to make bracelets out of them and show how a bullet can save a life, then conducted an event at Anya’s school, where they showed students how to break bullets and make bracelets. The founder of Bullets 4 Life, Susann Kennedy, emphasized the impact students can have.
“The students are the voice of Bullets 4 Life; they keep this movement against gun violence going,” she said. “I could be gone tomorrow, but I want this impact to continue.”
Students have the power to make a change in their community, their school, and society. All they have to do is reach out.
“The youth need to be the ones to step up, to take charge,” Kennedy said. “This is their generation’s fight.”