From NBC News’ Education Nation – Anyone who has ever been a teenager knows those years are hard. I can say from experience that some teens have more challenges than others. Struggling to graduate high school, violence, peer pressure, bullying – these are all issues that millions of teens face every day.
In Akeelah and the Bee, I played a girl who faced many of these obstacles and overcame them with the help of her friends and family. While I have been blessed in my own life, the experience of portraying Akeelah opened my eyes to the difficulties many of America’s youth face.
In this election year, issues that affect youth, like jobs, the cost of going to college and civic involvement, are hot topics around our family’s dinner table. It is so important to make sure the youth voice is part of the conversation. Tomorrow’s leaders are already here, and we must pay attention to what they have to say.
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