Change Can Happen

Mikey K. – February 8, 2019

The day was Wednesday, February 14, 2018. We got out of school, and I looked at my phone. I saw one twitter notification: Parkland school shooting; 17 dead. My heart hurt for the students at Parkland and the people affected. So many questions started to pop up in my brain. Why would someone do this? Why is there so much hate in the world? Why can’t our country fix this?

But that's not the point of this speech. Let me set the scene. Wednesday, February 21st, exactly one week after the shooting, some of the Parkland High School students held a rally at the capitol to protest gun control. Me being me and wanting to get out of school, I decided to go to the protest. I asked my mom if I could go, and she said if I did, it would be with my church group who was going to volunteer to pass out food and water to those kids who were protesting. That worked for me. So we packed all the donated food and water
into 3 or 4 cars and headed downtown. When we got to the old capitol there were some protesters, but the official event had not started yet. As time went on, more news vans rolled up, and more people started to crowd by the steps. By this point, the students were protesting. The loud chants echoed through the streets of downtown Tallahassee. I grabbed bottles of water and headed out into the crowd. I probably gave out 100 or so bottles of water to the protestors. I was in the middle of the protest, the kids were screaming chants and doing what protesters do. In the midst of all of this, I realized one main thing - these kids were working to fix the problem.

There is a saying and it goes like this, “You don't have to be old to change the world.” Every time I heard this, I would always think, “There is no way I could change the world - I’m too young.” I didn’t even take into consideration what I could do. Not even a thought crossed my mind. But, I realized those kids on the steps were only two or three years older than me. I went into this protest just wanting to get out of school. I didn't think
twice about what lessons I could learn. But, the one major lesson I learned from being in that crowd is when people come together, any age, change can happen and voices are heard. This I believe.