The Future is Ms.: Tennessee Teens Advocate for Abortion Rights in a Red State

Alyson Nordstrom, 17, knew that the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade would result in the girls and women of her community losing their rights to obtain an abortion entirely. Despite the challenges of fighting for a blue issue in a red state, Nordstrom helped form Teens for Reproductive Rights, a coalition of teens who organize fundraisers for abortion care, post infographics about current abortion restrictions in Tennessee and encourage teenagers to vote.

Young Women Vow to Carry the Equal Rights Amendment Across the Finish Line

After realizing that gender equality wasn’t a right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, Rosie Couture and her friend Belan Yeshigeta founded Generation Ratify, an organization dedicated to adding the ERA to the Constitution. Other women-led organizations, such as The Feminist Front and The Ruth Project, joined the fight.

“Advocating for the ERA means advocating for a fight that began with many of our grandmothers.”

Baltimore Teens Fought To Provide Communities With Fast and Reliable Internet

When school went online during COVID lockdowns, Kimberly Vasquez’s unreliable WiFi started to hinder her schoolwork. Her grade point average dropped but her family could only afford the low-cost plan that wasn’t suitable for remote learning. 

Vasquez, joined by Yashira Valenzuela and Aliyah Abid, organized to petition Comcast to make their plans faster and more economical for low-income families. After rallying at Comcast headquarters, the city’s largest provider made the most affordable option for internet run at twice the speed. 

Teenagers on State Boards of Education—Why Including the Voices of Young Women Is Essential

Eleni Livingston and Rana Banankhah, both 17 years old, are voting members of their states’ board of education. They help decide high school graduation requirements, determine teacher qualifications and develop state student assessments. They also bridge the gender gap in education leadership—since women make up only 31 percent of school district chiefs. Their experiences show the importance of student voices in policymaking.

“On the board it can be intimidating to go in, as a young woman, as a teenager, into an environment like that and jump right in and start advocating for my peers,” Livingston said.

“To be treated like an adult, even though I can’t even vote for [U.S.] president, was really eye-opening,” Banankhah said.

NYC Teen Activist Bridges Gap for Mental Health Support: “When You’re a Teenager, You Learn From Each Other”

Instead of wasting away hours scrolling on Instagram and TikTok during quarantine in 2021, Alyssa Simone spent her time researching mental health techniques and sharing her knowledge with her peers.
Recently, her group launched Mentalligence, an immersive program making mental health education accessible to teens weekly via Zoom. So far, over 150 NYC students have connected in small groups to learn about and experiment with different therapy techniques.