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Time 12:07


Kids vs. Guns: Student Initiative in the Gun Safety Debate

By: Isaiah Allen

These past weeks I found myself both brokenhearted and inspired. I was broken-hearted at the deaths of 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. But,w ithin hours, I was inspired by the students who stepped forward and spoke out, calling on lawmakers to take up legislation that would ban or significantly restrict the sale and ownership of assault weapons. These students are filling a leadership vacuum; they are providing a voice, perspective, and action in a space where others with more experience and qualifications have failed.

This article was shared with me about a student in Whitefish Bay, WI who is leading gun legislation protests at her school. We’ve had PIF Tours going out of her high school for years. This student’s leadership is exactly why STLF exists. Student initiative matters and is impactful. STLF programs provide students with opportunities to express and experience leadership while receiving coaching and logistical support.

Hundreds of high school students spent Presidents’ Day Weekend on PIF tours with STLF. They discovered their capacity for leadership and civic engagement. It’s students like this who are the catalyst behind movements that will bring incredible social change to our communities. Over the month of March hundreds of college students will travel across the country serving in communities that are not their own, building relationships that previously didn’t exist, and making a positive impact for the social good. This impact will have been planned and facilitated by college students. STLF isn’t a youth program, it is a movement of students who willing to step into leadership and make personal sacrifices for the benefit of others.

One of STLF’s core convictions is that students aren’t tomorrow’s leaders, students are the leaders our schools, workplaces, society, and civic arena need today. Students are stepping forward to take on the gun industry, one of the most powerful political lobbies in our country. In the coming months there will be rallies, school walkouts, petitions, and social media campaigns. All of these efforts will happen as a result of student initiative, vision, and energy. In spite of all those efforts, it is unlikely we will see meaningful gun control legislation in the coming year. But… The coming year isn’t the end of this story. Students are the leaders we need today, and they are tomorrow’s leaders. I am heartened that the students who participate in STLF programs are our emerging social, business, and civic leaders. They are dedicated, empathetic, and passionate. They are leaders of change today and tomorrow.

Support STLF's work of equipping young leaders with the tools they need to change the world by making a donation. We value and appreciate your support. 





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