2020’s new voters are already thinking

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Nearly 2,000 student journalists gathered for the fall conference of the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association at the Lansing Center on Oct. 31. 

Many of the students attending were seniors and will graduate in the next year. With the upcoming 2020 election, they will also have the chance to vote for the first time. The issues that motivate them are as varied as they are for any generation.


Maia Rostar, Plainwell High School: “I am voting because I would like to see change. I believe that women and minorities deserve equal rights, and I think if I vote, I could help out.”

Maia Rostar

Keilyn Trawick, East English Village, Detroit: “Equality. In my head it’s not even a thing. We want it so bad but nobody gets it. I want the person in that office to fight for it because right now no matter who you are, if you’re a minority you will be treated as such. You could be Michael Jordan but at the end of the day Michael Jordan can be treated like a black man by the police if pulled over.”

Santino Pacitro, Dakota High School: “Definitely representation and more support for smaller communities like LBGT and stuff like that. Abortion is a very big topic, I think abortion should be okay.”


Emily Matteson, Waterford Kettering High School: She plans to use her vote for “a mix between global warming, climate change and women’s rights. Since I’m so young, climate change will have a toll on my future, and since I’m a woman I want to be able to do things that every woman should have access to, like abortion.”

Sylvia Jarrus


Samantha Kildea, Haslett High School: She pays attention to “gun laws because we are in high school and that’s a very prevalent things that’s happening to us. It’s something we obviously need to fix, I think about it every day, so that’s something that’s important to me.”

They want to see a change

Kristen Quertermus, Plainwell High School: “I’m looking forward to getting involved in politics. I want to make my voice heard.” 

Demetrius Morris, De La Salle Collegiate High School, Warren: “I honestly just want Trump out of office. He doesn’t deserve the chair he is sitting in today.” 

Makayla Slater, Ben Carson High School, Detroit: Slater says she wants to get Trump out of office “because of all the racist comments and the way he treats Mexican people, basically just the racism.”

Eric Major, East English High School, Detroit: “How can they help my generation? What are they going to do for us young people?”

Monet Townsend, East English Village Preparatory High School in Detroit: “Honestly, I want to vote to put my input in. I think putting in my ‘two cents’ will help somehow. I just want Trump out of the office. I am tired of him.”

Madison Munker, Dexter High School: “It’s a good opportunity to put in my word.”

 JT Thomas, University of Detroit High School: “I just feel like voting is the right thing to do. I’m focused on issues like police brutality, and I want to vote for someone who will take action.”


Imani Love, Onsted High School: “Education, definitely. There is a lot going on that people don’t know about. Also, environment and safety. Trump, for example, doesn’t know how to respect others and I think you have to come with respect to receive respect. I want a president who knows how to treat other people and respect other cultures.”

Alyse Green, Haslett High School. For her, thee top issues is “College and the cost of tuition because we are going into college.”


Max Orose, University of Detroit Jesuit: Top issue is “political affairs and international business. That’s what I plan to major in in college.”

Bryce Neal, Waterford Kettering High School: I want somebody in office that’s gonna help us economically help us globally so we can get back to world peace and treat each other equally.” 

Sylvia Jarrus


Julia Ambrozy, 17, Grosse Pointe South High School: “Mostly the safety of the country and also the economy making sure it booms and keeping it going. Keeping kids safe and making the country better as a whole. As I’m getting older that’s what I want, to make sure my kids are safe in the future and just so that it’s easier for them to have a better life.”

Sylvia Jarrus

Nathan Minter, East English High School, Detroit: H said he is most concerned with violence. “It’s terrible, we kill each other every day.”

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