As to largely impact the daily lives of

As I scroll through my Facebook feed, I see a series of negative ads, hateful rebuttals, and angry tones. I notice that we as a society live in an anti-political moment as we inordinately focus on the constant corruption and avaricious lobbying in politics. However, nothing else has the ability to largely impact the daily lives of all citizens. I passionately believe in changing the skeptical, bitter stigma attached to politics. It was no surprise, then, when I was the first one to show up at the initial Student Advocates for Voter Empowerment (SAVE) meeting. As a part of SAVE, I teach students about the democratic process. Through political involvement programs, town hall forums, and bi-weekly group discussions about current events, members and I work to break down barriers to electoral participation. However, lacking sufficient programs to invigorate members, our SAVE chapter experienced a decline in membership. In addition, the desertion of its club officers created a void in leadership – one that no one was willing to fill. The disbandment of SAVE suddenly seemed imminent.I decided to step up to lead with zeal as president and remodel SAVE by introducing more engaging opportunities and programs. What intrigued me wasn’t the dereliction of the officers, but the indifference of the students at a time when politics was most controversial and prevalent in our country. I needed to prove that efforts to shape our community can be translated into visible real-world effects through politics. Networking with political figures is a great approach to inspire excitement in politics among adolescents. I began canvassing the neighborhood for political events; my search was rewarded with the opportunity to campaign for city council member Jeff Maloney. Our firsthand experience knocking door-to-door has impressed the significance of each vote upon the members and me, demonstrating how the work of locally elected officials can shape our lives. My involvement in the campaign has taught me that politics can act as the glue that holds our diverse society together by involving different individuals and groups in discussions about issues that personally affect them. Currently in SAVE, we not only discuss policies at the national level, but also address how local policies can affect us as students. Hearing others’ perspectives has made me more objective in my views than before and more understanding of the world around me. As an active force in politics, I have had my perspectives thoroughly challenged and transformed. Our collective work has encouraged SAVE members to build trust in their judgement.Seeing any current developments in world politics now prompts me to form and share my own opinions about them as SAVE has allowed me to practice grassroots politics. What I’ve realized in trying to expand my worldview is that taking the time to learn about issues surrounding my own country and beyond cultivates empathy. Politics does not mean shouting at each other on news channels or insisting on proving our correctness; it means having a willingness to learn from our own experiences and possessing the respect for the differences and viewpoints of others. It’s not about power or money, but rather about bringing everyone together and empowering them to transform a vision into a reality. Be a citizen, not a spectator.