By Armaan Rajwany
Local high school students were given the opportunity to address their elected officials last week on May 18 during the 15th annual Teen Political Forum.
The Office-themed event, organized by students from Coral Springs High School, Coral Springs Charter School, J.P. Taravella High School, and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, began with a brief message from Vice Mayor Joshua Simmons and the Pledge of Allegiance.
Moderators Logan Viera from Coral Springs High, Madison Amorim from J.P. Taravella High, Carli Komroff from Marjory Stoneman Douglas, and myself, Armaan Rajwany, from Marjory Stoneman Douglas, announced that the local high school with the most likes on their respective Teen Political Forum Twitter Post would receive a $750 check from event sponsor Baptist Health.
The moderator questions kicked off when Mayor Scott Brook was asked for his opinion on the recent increase in alternative hotel options for Coral Springs tourists.
“I think it’s important that we are able to provide some regulations for our citizens to keep us safe and make sure we feel comfortable opening up our doors here in the community,” replied Brook.
State Representative Christine Hunschofsky was asked, “Given that the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for ages 12-15, and public schools will be reopening next school year, will there be active encouragement for students to get vaccinated?”
She responded affirmatively, saying there has been a proactive approach in distributing the vaccine.
“There are a lot of reasons why it’s great to get the vaccine, and people of all ages are encouraged,” said Hunschofsky.
Broward County Vice Mayor Michael Udine was asked about what accommodations he has made to further protect the local elderly population, which comprises a large demographic of Coral Springs and Tamarac?
“The elderly are the most vulnerable to COVID so that population must be prioritized to get the vaccine as quickly as possible,” said Udine.
He then spoke about funding the I Got Shot Campaign which “puts needles in people’s arms” and gets the citizens of Broward County a step closer to herd immunity for the COVID-19 virus.
Also in attendance were State Representative Dan Daley, School Board Member, Lori Alhadeff, and Commissioners Joy Carter, Shawn Cerra, and Nancy Metayer.
The event concluded with Vice Mayor Joshua Simmons announcing that Coral Springs High School won and will receive the $750 check from Baptist Health for the second consecutive year.
Finally, he reminded students that they are always encouraged to contact these elected officials for any questions or concerns about the local community.
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- Armaan Rajwany is a 16-year-old student writer from Coral Springs, Florida. The junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is passionate about youth engagement within local communities.
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