It's a terrifying time to be a young person without a vote in this country. There's so much at stake for your future, and it's you, after all, who will have to live with the consequences if adults elect say, Donald Trump, to be our president.
"I don't want to have to live down a reputation of America as racist and hostile throughout my late teens and early twenties, and no young adult should have to either," 13-year-old Matthew Wieseltier wrote in his viral essay-turned-video, Why I Do Not Want to Grow Up In Donald Trump's America.
His essay got us thinking: Why not let other young people share their takes on The Donald and what he means for America? So we launched an essay contest, and #TeensAgainstTrump was born.
We suggested teens answer the question: What does Donald Trump misunderstand about America? It didn't take long before our inbox, TeensAgainstTrump@huffingtonpost.com, was flooded. (We assume that there must be some Trump-supporting kids out there, too. If so, feel free to let us know why. We're genuinely curious.)
The winner of the contest is Zia T., a 19-year-old English major at Howard University in Washington, D.C. You can read her essay, Making America Great, here.
We also chose 13 fantastic runners up. You can watch a video of some of the winners reciting parts of their essays above.
Read their full essays below:
- Brenna G., age 15, Donald Trump: The Leader America Will Never Need
- Carter S., age 18, Trump Means The End Of American Ideals
- Courtenay W., age 14, One Nation Under Trump
- Daniel S., age 17, The Race To Intersectionality
- David O., age 14, Donald Trump, America's Id
- Deanna M., age 16, What We're Choosing If We Choose Donald Trump
- Joelle J., age 14, I Don't Want To, I Can't, I Must Not Grow Up With Donald Trump As President
- Julia T., age 17, Dear Donald Trump, I'm Proud That My Parents Are Immigrants
- Natasha L., age 17, What Trump Doesn't Understand About America
- Nia L. age 15, Make America Hate Again
- Sam B., age 15, Why America Shouldn't Trust Trump With Our Country
- Tessa B., age 19, Standing For The Dream
- Yunkyo K., age 16, Donald Trump's Campaign Is Oppression