In this term of Civic Engagement, our purpose was to connect to our community. I believe that Civic Engagement is a class that everyone should take because it teaches the value of participation– and what it implies.

Before I tell you about how incredible our term was and all of the enriching things my peers and I did, I’d like to give you some background on why I think Civic Engagement is so important. This past election was the first one in which I was able to vote– I turned eighteen the day before the election on November 6th. Ever since I voted, I have been making it a top priority to stay engaged in my local and global community, and stay informed as well. Voting made me feel like a part of the conversation, and that was the most important thing I’ve ever felt.

My peers and I went out into our civic community in this past term and we learned what it meant to be a citizen with a voice. We interviewed several young artists and asked them how they demonstrate autonomy in their lives. These young artists were all Chicago Public School students who expressed frustration with our city’s broken education system, but found a way  to keep from being discouraged by it. These students created their own success, without the help of anyone but themselves. These young men and women are my generation’s boot-strappers. They are taking accountability for their own lives and producing change every day.