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Making Civics Real Workshop 6: Civic Engagement  
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Workshop 6

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Teacher Perspectives
Student Perspectives
Essential Readings
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Student Perspectives: Lessons learned

Andy: I feel more in touch with my community. When you’re younger, you don’t feel like you have the power to do anything. Doing projects like this gives you [the feeling that you] can actually make a difference. I can tell somebody how I feel and somebody is actually going to care. Being 18, it kind of adds more because I can vote and I mean a little more to the community now as [far as] making decisions and being able to let them know how I feel about stuff. It’s a good feeling to have. I like it a lot.

John: Basically, we’ve learned that you can make a difference in your community even though we’re not older [and don’t] have power in the city. But we do have power to change people’s minds and make people aware of a problem that really does exist and that really touches everyone’s lives. After a meeting with the state leaders, we felt more empowered because we had more right to make decisions and change people’s minds [even though] they were higher people. We felt we could really make a difference in the community after meeting with those people.

Rachel: I was talking about this kind of thing with my grandparents--about how, if you don’t get involved, you really can’t complain about anything. If you don’t have positive passion and positive influences on your community, then nothing good will ever come of it. I really feel that what we’ve been doing is influencing our community in a better way and showing people that there are options, even if you don’t like what’s going on. To be able to influence people that way is really exciting, and I like it. I get kind of a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.

It was fun to talk with [her community partner] because he is such a powerhouse in the local community’s government. The input that he gave, not only for this project, but also for life in general, was to find something that you are passionate about and stick with it and show people that you care. He said that one of the most important things to represent about yourself is that you’re passionate and have opinions about certain things. He said that we should present our passion in the best light to some of the council members because, as teenagers, they don’t hear our opinions a lot and to hear them from us will be a great awakening to them in some respects.


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