My name is Eliza, I was born in 2004, and am currently 14 years old. I am growing up in a time of fear, hatred, and misinformation. I have a president who shouts "Fake news!" at every opportunity. I live in a time where children die due to the senseless wrath of gun violence. I hear news about the United States's negative effect on other countries.
But, at the same time, I see change. I see activism. I hear shouts of "Me, too" and "Never again." I see average citizens standing up for our rights as Americans.
I participate in nuanced and thoughtful conversations about race, religion, sexuality, gender, and privilege.
I know that my actions are not superficial, incapable of changing anything. I know that on the contrary, my words have power, my voice has power, and my morals cannot be tainted. I know that what I do today will affect those of you who are reading this tomorrow.
So please, as you become the next generation of people to live on this Earth, remember that you matter. Be cautious of naysayers who tell you that you can never amount to anything. And know that at the end of the day, you, as a human have the power to change the world for the better.