Influence is one of the most powerful forces on the planet. From your parents to society, the beliefs and standards of others have a tremendous impact on who you are both during childhood and later in life — and it extends quite a lot farther than political and religious views. Regarding parents, particularly, it’s your natural instinct as a kid to put your trust and faith into them regardless of the experiences that may rub you the wrong way. Their harsh words create the deepest wounds and their high praises are our biggest motivators. …

It was the third day of orientation, around midnight. I was sitting on the bench in the median strip of Barnard and Columbia with a plate of garlic knots from Koronet’s on my lap. I was on the phone with my best friend from home, breathlessly describing the events that had transpired since my arrival and attempting to laugh my way through the panic and exhaustion not uncommon for someone who’d just moved 1200 miles away. All of a sudden, a man approached, waving to get my attention. I told my friend I would call her back. He had a…

It’s time to reflect on our relationship. It’s been a decade since I moved in with you, three years since I got involved in your politics, and one year since I spoke out about a controversial summer reading list — a list that would prompt a complex, highly publicized battle with the Baldwin County Board of Education for the duration of my senior year of high school. I know the latter issue doesn’t make me your most popular tenant, but I’ve decided to tell my side of the story, raw and unadulterated.

I have been an outcast since you welcomed…

From Antarctica to Beirut, thousands of people marched for justice

Hundreds of thousands rally in Washington, D.C. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)

By Julia Coccaro

The Progressive Teen Editor-in-Chief

ON JANUARY 21st, 2017, AT LEAST THREE MILLION MEN AND WOMEN from around the world joined in solidarity to peacefully stand up for human rights and protest the Trump administration’s intolerant agenda. Women’s Marches took place in all seven continents to stand with the United States. High School Democrats from across the country participated in the Women’s March on Washington or a Sister March nearby. They, and the rest of those who advocated for human rights in the spirit of democracy, showed the world that one thing is certain: our voices still matter.

Women’s March on Los Angeles

In a year full of surprises, INHSD members aim to deliver the governorship for a Democrat

By Cole Ferguson

Indiana High School Democrats Co-Chair

WITH 11 ELECTORAL VOTES, A SENATE SEAT AND A GOVERNORSHIP AT STAKE, Indiana has emerged as a surprise battleground state for the Democratic Party in 2016. The Indiana High School Democrats have stood out as a model for how effective high school organizing can be.

The New Jersey High School Democrats are focusing on one of the most competitive House races in the country

Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman poses with students at the ‘Preparing to Lead’ convention at Princeton University in February; the convention was a joint effort between the High School, College and Young Democrats of New Jersey.

By Julia Coccaro

The Progressive Teen Editor-in-Chief

DESPITE BEING A LONGTIME DEMOCRATIC PARTY STRONGHOLD, New Jersey has made national headlines for being at the center of one of the tightest house races in the country — one that the DCCC has targeted.

With over 25 chapters, members of the New Jersey High School Democrats have dedicated thousands of hours of canvassing and phone-banking to unseat Tea Party Republican Scott Garrett and elect Josh Gottheimer. …

With less than 50 days until Election Day, the four-member team will oversee a staff of more than thirty contributors

By Julia Coccaro

The Progressive Teen Editor-in-Chief

AFTER MONTHS OF APPLICATIONS AND INTERVIEWS, I am thrilled to announce The Progressive Teen’s first-ever editorial board, composed of four members that will oversee our three revamped sections: opinion, analysis and features. These young individuals have shown the brilliant passion and incredible drive necessary move this publication forward and promote youth civic engagement, and I am proud to introduce them below.

“Don’t discuss politics or religion at the dinner table.” This phrase, coined by an unknown source years ago, has been widely used to prevent heated discussion from infiltrating polite conversation. I, for one, don’t mind partaking in a friendly debate once in a while, especially considering how passionately liberal and secular I am. However, respectfully sharing opinions in a social setting is dramatically different than outright shoving beliefs down the throats of students. Unfortunately, the latter was the case in multiple scenarios at my high school.

I live in an extremely conservative small town in southern Alabama, where it’s not…

Julia Coccaro

new york personality, southern hospitality

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