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Spartan students spend summer in government

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Spartan students spend summer in government

Seth Khokhar poses with Randy Boyd, the gubernatorial candidate in the Republican primaries he worked for this summer. Khokhar spent most of his time going door to door daily to ask for support.

Seth Khokhar poses with Randy Boyd, the gubernatorial candidate in the Republican primaries he worked for this summer. Khokhar spent most of his time going door to door daily to ask for support.

Jessica Darby

Seth Khokhar poses with Randy Boyd, the gubernatorial candidate in the Republican primaries he worked for this summer. Khokhar spent most of his time going door to door daily to ask for support.

Jessica Darby

Jessica Darby

Seth Khokhar poses with Randy Boyd, the gubernatorial candidate in the Republican primaries he worked for this summer. Khokhar spent most of his time going door to door daily to ask for support.

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America’s history is filled with examples of student led movements and political involvement, and students at our school are no exception. Leeya Alperin (12), Seth Khokhar (10), Zoe Brewer (11) and Marissa Pittman (11) are a few students who took political matters into their own hands this summer by campaigning and advocating in government.

In 2016, Alperin was  diagnosed with Generalized Lymphatic Anomaly, a rare condition where the lymphatic system attacks the body, leaving lesions which weaken the bones. This caused her to be an inpatient at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital for almost a month. Ever since then, she has aimed to grow awareness for her condition and communications between children’s hospitals. This July, LeBonheur asked her family to attend the Children’s Hospital Association Conference in Washington, DC. Their main goal was to lobby to local congresspeople about the Advancing Care for Exceptional Kids Act, a subpart of Medicaid specifically for patients who need across state line treatment. Fortunately, they were able to earn Dave Kustoff and Steve Cohen’s support to sign onto the bill.

“I was truly amazed by how quickly they signed onto itit only took less than three weeks,” Alperin said.

Although not on Capitol Hill, Khokhar still participated in politics this summer by working for Randy Boyd, a gubernatorial candidate in the Republican primaries. He went door to door daily to ask for support. Additionally, Khokhar helped with the phone bank and attended numerous fundraisers and events.

“Politics can be a tricky and exciting roller coaster, especially when you are in the actual campaign,” Khokhar said.

Also working on a campaign, Brewer was granted an internship this summer with Phil Bredesen, a US Senate candidate. For the campaign, she knocked on about a hundred doors a day, entered data entry from the phone banking and canvassing packets and worked on dividing Memphis up into smaller areas for volunteers to knock doors.

“The long hours, extreme weather, and exhausting tasks all seem well worth the challenge when considering that our dedication can lead to the change we want to see,” Brewer said.

Pittman also believes her involvement in politics can make a positive impact in her community. She created Pumps and Politics 901, an organization aimed at getting more young ladies involved in the political process, through her involvement in LITE Memphis.  

Through her organization, Pittman was the first person to ever open Memphis City Hall on a Saturday, and she presented Pumps and Politics 901 to Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

These students believe they can make an impact, no matter their age.

“I am an activist because I understand that marginalized groups deserve to be listened to. I am an activist because I believe everyone has something to bring to the table. I’m an activist because I am the change I want to be in the world,” Pittman said.  

 

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Spartan students spend summer in government