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Avalon McKinney is interviewed before a political rally

Avalon McKinney was the salutatorian of the Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy (MGLVA) Class of 2016. She credits MGLVA for nurturing her passion for politics, which led to her running for precinct delegate for the Wayne County Republican Party in Livonia, Michigan. While she didn’t win, she plans to remain involved in politics and will attend the Michigan Republican Party Fall Convention this weekend. With election season in full swing, Avalon checks in with us about the importance of being involved, no matter what your age: 

On April 13, 1743, one of the most influential men in American history was born in the colony of Virginia. By the age of 19 he began studying law, and at 26 he joined the Virginia House of Burgesses. During pre-Revolution times he gained credit for his eloquent writing style by writing “Summary View of the Rights of British America. This was the gateway to his career, and in 1775 he was elected to the Continental Congress. At the age of 33 he changed the course of history by writing one of the most historic pieces of all time, calling it, “The Declaration of Independence. By 47 he had had his fill of politics, but he humbly accepted the post of Secretary of State under President George Washington. In 1801, he succeeded John Adams as the third President of the United States. This man has marked the pages of our history books and symbolized our patriotism and love for self-government. Thomas Jefferson is one of many examples of people getting politically involved and fighting for their future at a young age. 

In modern times many Americans feel discouraged about expressing their political views, especially in the public school system. Students fear that if their beliefs do not align with their teachers, their grades will suffer. I personally never realized how true this was until I left my brick and mortar school and joined MGLVA. Had I not switched to online, I don’t think I would’ve realized how important it is for the youth to think freely and independentlyMany kids don’t understand how significant it is to form your own ideas and opinions. Several think this means they should oppose every belief articulated by adults because adults are “stuck in the past. The humor of this is that our Founding Fathers attained much of their political knowledge from ancient philosophers and politicians, such as Cicero and Aristotle. On the other side of the aisle, many millennials blindly follow their school teachers and professors without ever questioning their knowledge. At MGLVA, teachers encouraged students to let their ideas flourish and allowed us to express them without fear of retaliation.

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