Meet the activist
Junior Lisa Shen has been an avid fan of politics since her freshman year. As the founder of the schoolâ€™s first political journal and a member of a myriad of leadership positions in clubs, Shen is active in political advocacy and projecting out her own voice.
Shenâ€™s passion first stemmed from her world history class, in which she developed a strong curiosity for the socioeconomic issues.
â€śI was fervent about history, and I was always probing beyond the textbook–questioning historical topics and finding interesting concepts on my own,â€ť Shen said. â€śI developed a lot of opinions based on what I read and researched. We are all part of history, and I grew progressively adamant about inserting my own voice in it.â€ť
To develop her own perspectives, she maintained an open mindset during freshman year and joined both Teen Republicans and Young Democrats to learn about the vast array of political spectrum.
â€śI wanted to understand the issues at hand–the topics debated over on national television, by the very politicians that we chose to speak on our behalf,â€ť Shen said. â€ś[Joining the different clubs] broke a lot of preconceptions for me. Before joining either of them, I was more of a liberal due to my personal background. Both clubs are designed to educate, not propagate. I learned that labeling others, or yourself, deters your ability to be empatheticâ€”which is necessary for any positive change in this world.â€ť
During her freshman year, Shen also developed The Inksight, a student-run political journal that contains op-ed and freelance writing that critique political policies, providing an outlet for students and teen activists to express their concerns and voice their opinions.
â€śAlthough we may not have the ability to vote yet, there are other waysâ€”and arguably more powerful waysâ€”of engaging in the political process. Learning to write formidable opinion editorials and pitching your ideas effectively is a valuable and rewarding skill to have,â€ť Shen said. â€śThus, being able to incite change and communicate our opinions professionally is a very powerful tool. Â TheÂ Inksight teaches students how to pitch their ideas.â€ť
To understand more about current news and update her political journal, Shen subscribes to a multitude of news sources, including The Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and the The Washington Post.
â€śIâ€™m always up-to-date with current events. My dad calls me a news junkie. Whenever Iâ€™m especially intrigued by a specific news topic, I scour the internet to learn more about it.â€ť Shen said. â€śI try to keep updated on all levels of politicsâ€”world, national, local, state.â€ť
Shen wishes to become a diplomat, teacher or government worker to continue exploring her interests.
â€śThe decisions we make today generate a foundation for our children, our childrenâ€™s children, and so on. Â Staying informed in politics allows us to become better decision makers, and therefore better foundation builders,â€ť Shen said.
By Caroline Huang and Eric Peng, News editors