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Young people are talking, and political leaders are listening

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No matter how old you are, you have a voice – and it can be heard.

Young people are expressing their opinions on issues more than ever these days.

Young people from all over are sparking change, and political leaders are listening – even right here in our area.

“We are the future,” says Jennica Liberatore with the St. Joseph County Young Democrats. “We are creating the world that we want to grow up in, we want our kids to grow up in.”

Liberatore is a mom of triplets. She calls herself a political junkie. But it was not until after the 2016 election she started to act and seek change.

“After the election I just looked at my kids and I was like, ‘I can't fail for you, so I want to do as much as I can’ ...I want them to be able to look at me as a role model.”

Adrian Pacheco have also gotten involved in politics. He is a recent high school graduate and says most people his age feel helpless. He says the best place to start is at the city level.

“I personally just hope for a better relationship with the people and the people in power,” he said. “Just a better relationship when trying to work on problems and instead of arguing, I want to see more resolution.”

Notre Dame Political Science Professor Josh Kaplan says the department has grown tremendously within

“I tell my colleagues we are not likely to ever have students as motivated to learn as we have right now,” he said.

He says the younger generation brings a fresh new perspective on issues. And policy makers are listening.

“Things that seemed impossible are now happening, and along with that the sense of what is possible is expanded.”

St. Joseph County has both Young Democrat and Young Republican groups. They work to help influence change in our area. They are always looking for young people to get involved.

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