Teens have the power to make change.
Even if you are not old enough to vote, you can still voice your opinions and push for things you care about. If something is affecting you, your friends, family, or your community, you have the right to speak out. If you want to change something happening at your school, neighborhood or community, there are many ways you can take action to make that change happen.
You can become an ADVOCATE for the things you believe in.
What is Advocacy?
The word advocacy sounds intimidating. But you probably already are an advocate!
Advocacy is when someone takes action in support of or against an issue they care about.
Have you ever signed a petition? Attended a rally to speak out against something you supported or thought was unfair? Then you have advocated!
How to Advocate and Voice Your Opinion
There are many ways to advocate. You can:
- Sign a petition
- Attend a rally or march
- Submit an online action or email from an organization you trust
- Submit your personal story about how an issue will impact you or your family to an organization
- Send an email to your legislator or to people who make laws and rules sharing your opinion or personal story
- Call or stop by your legislator’s office
- Cast a vote – after you turn 18
- Speak at your school about an issue you support/want to change
- Share information about the topic with your friends and family
Social Media Advocacy
Social media is a powerful tool to make change. Sharing information through social media spreads the message far and wide very fast. If you feel strongly about an issue, you can share information with others through your social media accounts and you can ask your friends and followers to do the same. You can even send your legislator a Tweet, Instagram post or tag them on Facebook. These count as advocacy!
If you are a U.S. citizen, you will be eligible to cast a vote when you turn 18. You can vote for people to represent you in Congress, the state legislature, your city council, and many other positions.
Elected officials work for us. You have a say in hiring them or firing them with your vote if they don’t do what you think is right.
Take Action Now!
Here are four things you can do to protect your health and rights and share your story to help others advocate on your behalf:
- Tell Congress to Protect Successful Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs
- Urge Congress to Invest In - Not Cut- STD Prevention
- Comprehensive Sex Education: Sex is now mandatory in CA public schools. Is your school following the law? We want to hear from you!
- Birth Control Access: Did your health plan deny your birth control method? Or didn’t give you a 12 month supply? Tell us your story here
Stay tuned for more ways to take action with TeenSource!
You can also look up other issues you care about and find an organization you trust that is working hard to protect and promote the things you believe in and care about.
To be strong and ready to take action, help make sure you stay healthy! Visit a clinic for FREE, CONFIDENTIAL, and NON-JUDGEMENTAL health care. And make sure you are prepared to prevent STDs and unintended pregnancy with condoms. GET FREE CONDOMS through the Condom Access Project!
Get Involved with TeenSource
Want to blog for TeenSource? Click here to find out how CA teens can help educate their peers about sex + reproductive health.
This blog was reposted from TeenSource.org, a project of Essential Access Health. TeenSource.org is an online hub for comprehensive and teen-friendly information on birth control, STDs, relationships and teen’s rights to accessing sensitive services. The site features youth-developed blogs and videos, a clinic finder, a Condom Access Project and links to TeenSource social media where youth can stay updated on relevant sexual and reproductive health information and news.