By: Sharon Aron Baron
Attention all local teens: the 2016 Teen Political Forum, an open mic style forum where students address state and local elected officials is right around the corner and this is your chance to earn service hours while learning firsthand how local and state government works.
Created in 2007 by former Mayor Roy Gold while he was a commissioner, the Teen Political Forum has become a huge annual event now led by Commissioner Larry Vignola.
This year’s Forum will be held on Monday, April 11 at the Coral Springs Center for the Arts from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. High school students, who live in Coral Springs or attend any of local Coral Springs high schools, are invited to attend this educational and leadership-building event.
This years’s panelist include: Commissioners Larry Vignola, Joy Carter and Lou Cimaglia, Vice Mayor Dan Daley, U.S. Congressman Ted Deutch, State Senator Jeremy Ring, State Representative Jared Moskowitz, School Superintendent Robert Runcie, and School Board Members Abby Freedman, Donna Korn and Robin Bartleman.
Also in attendance to answer questions will be Fire Chief Frank Babinec, Police Chief Tony Pustizzi and Circuit Court Judge Ari Porth. Last year, over 1,700 high school students attended this award-winning event, representing Coral Springs High, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, Coral Glades High, Coral Springs Charter, J. P. Taravella High and Coral Springs Christian Academy.
Before the official event starts, students will be treated to complimentary food items donated by local restaurants, while supplies last. Students who will be turning 18 and wish to register to vote in the upcoming elections will have the opportunity to do so as the Supervisor of Elections Office will be on site.
Participants will also have the opportunity to win prizes and earn service hours – but must stay until the end of the event to be eligible. The school with the largest attendance stands to win a Traveling Trophy, as well as $1,000 in cash to be used for a school-related improvement program. No pre-registration is required.
The Coral Springs Center for the Arts is located at 2855 Coral Springs Drive.