Youth Reflection: Megan McCall on Student Advocacy

“Acknowledging the problem is the first step.”

Meet Megan McCall, a college-bound youth tackling waste issues and community limitations in Garden Grove. Megan traveled with Mikva Challenge to Washington D.C. this past January to participate in a national Youth Summit as one of five Action Civics LA’s youth to win the 2016 American Soapbox Video Competition with her speech on education and student self-advocacy. Click here to learn more about American Soapbox Initiative.

Megan McCallMy name is Megan McCall and I am a senior at Pacifica High School in Garden Grove. Throughout my high school career, I’ve developed an appreciation for civic education through my involvement in many volunteer-oriented clubs and classroom studies. This year, I’ve had the honor of taking Pacifica’s AP Civics and Honors Economics courses. One of the most important things I learned is that we all have the potential to make a positive difference in our community through selfless or democratic action. Earlier in the year, I joined a team of seniors in what our school calls the Community Action Project, advised by Mr. Wemmer and Ms. Devoy, to identify significant problems within our local community and create possible, long-lasting solutions. After a lot of thoughtful conversation we decided that our school could use a larger recycling program. Right now there are restrictions on a large school-wide recycling program and we want to prove that we can create a sustainable system that will benefit the school and the environment. We also want to call our fellow peers to participate in a greater cause while bringing awareness of wasteful habits on campus. We believe that implementing this program means that we are taking action against prevailing global waste issues and community limitations. We intend to put this program into action the first two weeks of May and we’re more than eager to see its impact on our school’s community and the global environment.

We expect to raise a sufficient amount of recycled items within the next two weeks as we start placing larger recycling bins around the school. We will be taking the collected items to a recycling plant to record the dollar amount received and the environmental impact made. We’ll use these records to address our school board and hopefully bring awareness for a policy change that will allow this expanded recycling program to continue. If everything goes as planned, we have a handful of community service organizations ready to continue the project in years to come.

Through CAPS and the Mikva Challenge, I also had the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. and present a speech on the lack of student self-advocacy in schools today. This topic is important to me because I believe that the development of students today is hindered by society’s association of vulnerability and unintelligence with those that seek help within the classroom. There are many changes we can make to reach out to students or provide them with different sources to seek help, but acknowledging the problem is the first step. While in D.C., I met many civically engaged students my age and gained more awareness of a range of issues, such as gang violence and racial discrimination, in communities across the states very similar to my own. I’ve come to understand that a community simply begins as a group of individuals that share a common interest and incentive to seek justice and improve the quality of life around them. Overall, Pacifica and the action civics skills I have gained have helped me learn that being active in my community, whether politically or non-politically, determines how I want to live my future and how I want to affect the future of those around me for the better.

Watch a clip from Megan’s Soapbox speech in Lafayette Square!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedin

Posted on May 16, 2017 in National News

Mikva Challenge
View Author's Posts
  • Mikva News

    Stay up to date

    Read all the latest updates and sign up for the @mikvachallenge newsletter Sign Up
  • National News

    Mikva Challenge is now in LA and Washington, DC! Read about our national Action Civics work.
  • Mikva Alumni

    We have 65,000 alums doing amazing work. Read about how Mikva impacted their lives and what they’re up to now.
  • Political Transformation Series

    We believe there is a moment in people’s lives, often when they're young, that makes them excited and passionate about politics and their communities. Our Political Transformation Series is about capturing those moments and sharing them with the world to inspire more young people to follow that path.

    Email inquiries@mikvachallenge.org if you would like to share your transformative moment with us.
  • Tribute to Abner J. Mikva 1926-2016

    Judge Mikva and his wife Zoe founded the Mikva Challenge with the vision of involving city youth in politics and public service. In this section, we honor their life's work.

    View All

88%

of Mikva alumni are registered voters, vs. only 53% of 18-29 yr. olds nationwide

7,000

young people from 115 schools across Chicagoland participate in Mikva Challenge programs annually

1,684

students campaigned during the 2015-16 Election Season

145

Chicagoland teachers participate in Mikva Challenge programs

69%

of Mikva alumni continue to volunteer in their communities, vs. only 36% of 18-29 yr. olds nationwide

2,000+

Mikva students serve as election judges each election cycle

50%

of alumni of our Elections in Action programs continue to volunteer for political campaigns, vs. only 2% of 18-29 yr. old nationwide

66%

of Mikva alumni encourage their friends and family to be politically engaged, vs. only 35% of 18-29 yr. olds nationwide

332 S Michigan Ave
Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 863-6340

Mikva Challenge DC
1220 L St NW, Suite 605
Washington, DC 20005
Action Civics LA
1000 N. Alameda Street
Suite 340
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 346-3248 Send us An Email
 

Join Our Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest news and updates from Mikva Challenge

Center For Action Civics
Mikva Challenge
X

© 2017 - Mikva Challenge - Non Profit Web Design by Idea Marketing Group