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Mira Costa sophomore Nate St. Germain takes matters into his own hands to voice his political opinions with other LA youth.
St. Germain applied and was accepted in to the newly inaugurated Youth Advisory Council, a youth leadership council promoting activism. The Representative from California’s 33rd congressional District, Ted Lieu, created the council. Lieu and his staff will run council meetings and organize activist opportunities.
“I felt that this was one of the ways to find an outlet for what I wanted to talk about,” St. Germain said. “I wanted to share what I thought was right and my beliefs on recent political events. I think being able to share those beliefs with Ted Lieu was a good opportunity for me.”
The council consists of fifteen students from grades 9-12. Members from all over Los Angeles County discuss current events and ways to be active within the community
“I feel a lot of people are scared to share their opinion in fear that they will get attacked for it,” St. Germain said. “Often times, there will not be a safe discussion area to talk about what you believe and what you want to happen.”
During the application process, St. Germain wrote an essay in which he explained this inspiration for wanting to be a part of the program. He also received two letters of recommendation from Costa Social Science teachers Gregory Kloes and Timothy Piper. AP Human Geography allowed him to see things through a more political perspective, and inspired to take action, St. Germain said. Applications were due Dec. 15 and St. Germain heard he was accepted a few weeks later.
“AP Human Geography is all about politics and government,” Piper said. “This class is viewed from all perspectives and aspects. Nate came into the class with a lot of knowledge and will to learn. This class fuels a future in politics.”
The Youth Advisory Council will work directly with staff in Representative Lieu’s office to collaborate on key issues for young people in California’s 33rd District, according to Lieu’s website. The 33rd district extends from Calabasas to Palos Verdes.
“Social science is so important because we need it to be able to understand how and why everything exists like it does,” St. Germain said. “I want to learn more about everything because politics and social studies define our way of life and how everything got to be the way it is. Without social science we would have no concept or knowledge of conflicts and knowing that something can change the world is empowering.”
Since the council is new, the first council meetings will be focused around helping shape the program and discussions will include how to be active in their approach, St. Germain said. Lieu has an office in Manhattan Beach, so meetings are expected to be held in the South Bay.
“Nate has always been a really charismatic and democratically minded person,” Mira Costa sophomore Dain Johnson said. “He always wants to see the interests of other people and likes to work with others. I think he can bring maturity and level-headed reason to the council.”
In the future, St. Germain says that he hopes to educate his peers and bring awareness to the future voters in the South Bay. He would like to learn from this experience and continue to pursue a career in public service.
“I want to try to engage more people into politics,” St. Germain said. “In reality, we are going to be voting soon and if people don’t know who the Vice President of the United States is, then that is alarming and something needs to be done.”