El Segundo High School

Just in time for Inauguration Day: ‘Dear Mr. President: Teen Voices from Across the Country’

“Mr. President… please, please don’t take back all the progress we’ve made. We need you to build bridges, not walls. We need you to admonish anyone who insults others based on race, gender, religion, class, or sexual orientation. We need you to be a lover, not a hater, and to bring our divided nation closer together instead of pulling us further apart.” – Julia Tannenbaum, 16, West Hartford, Conn. 

After the election, many teens across America were feeling frightened and unheard. They watched as others voted on an America that would be their future, on a president that would lead the American value system. Teens became worried and helpless. This was the impetus for Ingrid Ricks of Write It Out Loud to publish an anthology that gives those who were too young to vote a chance to have their voices and concerns heard. The result is “Dear Mr. President: Teen Voices from Across the Country,” which officially launches on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20.

“Dear Mr. President” was a labor of love by a team of women at Write It Out Loud who are passionate about human rights for all, and who are equally passionate about ensuring that teens have a voice.  The goal of the organization is to help teens find their voice through the power of the personal narrative, storytelling. This book will be the seventh teen anthology they have produced.

The project selected 38 teens from across the United States to submit letters, poems and essays. Here, they share their concerns, hopes, and dreams for our country.  Ricks shares that “the final result is powerful, and the issues they raise are daunting. They worry about having their loved ones deported, their rights stripped away, their friends discriminated against, their world destroyed by climate change and war. They worry about hatred and bigotry and the divisiveness that has gripped our nation. Yet despite their fears, the overriding message  is one of hope, love and unity.”

The words of these teens are wise and powerful. Here’s hoping that those chosen to lead our country will listen to what the American youth have to say.

All proceeds from book sales will go to Rock the Vote, an organization that fosters youth involvement in politics.

For more information go to: www.writeitoutloud.org

– The eBook is free on Amazon until Sunday, Jan. 22: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MTA1N6I

– The paperback is available for purchase in all online stores at: https://www.amazon.com/Dear-Mr-President-Voices-Country/dp/0985929456