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What Do Teens Have to Say to this Year’s U.S. Presidential Candidates?

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This year has been full of risky moves, controversial actions and thought-provoking movements. Everything from this year’s movies and TV shows tackling touchy subjects to the #Blacklivesmatter movement taking the world by storm, to the tragic Orlando shooting that brought the LGBTQ community together, 2016 will be a year we will look back on as one of the most hard-hitting years of the decade.

The most talked-about subject this year has easily been the 2016 presidential election. Talk of the presidential election has never been at more of a peak than now — with the election right around the corner and with two of its most controversial candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, being the final Republican and Democratic nominees respectively.

However, while the country as a whole will be affected by whomever takes office this year, it is the youth that have been affected in the most interesting way. VOX noticed that effect and took action by hosting a Race and Election Dialogue.

I was lucky enough to create a video from the event, along with Youth Today’s Roger Newton, where teens from metro Atlanta spoke out about their true, uncensored thoughts regarding this year’s election and the issues they believe the candidates should tackle head on. The majority of them talked of race as a major issue, which, considering the series of events that have taken place this year, isn’t all that surprising.Ameerah speaks up about the U.S. presidential election and the candidates' impact on education.

What took me by surprise was how many of these teens spoke out about education as a major issue facing our society. Ameerah Nikya, a senior at DeKalb School of the Arts and VOX’s Atlanta Teen Voices peer editor, said: “You know my top choice [for college] has been NYU since 8th grade … How am I supposed to feel when so many different parts of my personal life are being threatened because of these people that we have to vote for who are supposed to lead us?”

Mikael Trench, 18, is a freshman at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta where he plans to major in animation. Mikael has made a host of stop-motion and claymation short films, including his popular Donald Trump vs webseries and his award-winning short film “The Tree That Refused To Fall,” which can all be found on his YouTube channel, Cyclops Studios.

What would you say to the U.S. Presidential candidates if you could?

Email your letter, poem, video or story to media@voxatl.org.

VOX will be sharing teens’ voices related to the U.S. election daily through election day, Nov. 8.  Share yours!

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