It can be difficult to find ways to further your political involvement while still in high school. Most internships and political organizations are geared only toward college students and graduates, which can be frustrating if you are a high school student with a passion for politics.
There are ways your voice can be heard, even before you are eligible to vote, work on campaigns, or run for office. Here are five fun and effective ways you can make a difference in politics while you’re still in high school.
Join or start a political club
Most high schools have politically-geared clubs, such as debate team, social studies bowl, or civics club. If yours does not, many administrations will be receptive to the idea of founding clubs like these that are geared toward educating other young adults about politics. Additionally, if you would prefer to start a chapter of an existing national organization, perhaps geared more toward activism, Turning Point USA, Young Americans for Freedom, and other organizations allow both high school and college students to participate. Clubs like these are a great way to start if you plan to steer your career toward grassroots activism, policy-making, or lobbying.
Compete in mock trial
Mock trial is perhaps a less common way for high schoolers to get involved in politics, but it is just as fun and effective as other options. Participating in mock trial can help you learn about the Constitution and law, improve your public speaking skills, and help you learn to think on your feet. You will also learn how to work with a team and make points effectively. It’s a great way to start if you think you may want to attend law school.
Write for a website
There are numerous political websites that will hire high school students to write for them. These include FFL, Hypeline News, and Red Alert Politics. Other websites which give high schoolers an outlet to write include The Odyssey and FreshU – for high school seniors, both of which are receptive to political content. This is a great way to share your thoughts. It is an excellent start if you plan to enter the field of political journalism.
Attend political conferences
Most political conferences welcome high school students, as they know that the new generation will help shape the future of this country. The Values Voter Summit, for instance, holds events for students at the conference and provides heavily reduced rates. There are also conferences specifically for high school students. These include Turning Point USA’s High School Activist Conference and Teenage Republicans’ TAR Leadership Conference. Conferences are a great way to network with other conservatives and hear your favorite political leaders speak.
Take political classes
Most high schools offer classes that will prepare you to study political science or government in college. These include US Government, comparative government, and civics. It can also include classes like environmental science or statistics. These types of classes can help you find out what fields in politics are your favorites. You don’t want to end up at the State Department when your real passion is healthcare policy.