Young people do care about history.
Not only do they care, but they also understand that events from the past and how we interpret them can shape our future. And, with a little encouragement (OK, maybe a lot) they can express it in ways that are meaningful and moving.
This is the third year that the Newport Historical Society sponsored a contest that asked Rhode Island high school sophomores to write about something happening in their community that had the capacity to create change – to make history! The winners got a trip to see the award-winning Broadway Show, Hamilton: An American Musical. The students who enter the contest are not much younger than Alexander Hamilton, John Laurens, Lafayette and the Schulyer sisters were on the eve on the American Revolution. And like these young adults from America’s past, today’s youth are equally worried about the world and their nation. They care deeply about how past and current events both big and small will impact the future.
This year, winning essays discussed the nature of work, and how it is affected by technology and inclusivity, how journalism shapes the world we think we know, about struggles with mental illness, and how the diverse American population can be a source of strength. The essays are contemporary and historical, and they reflect an impressive group of young people thinking hard about their world.
Don’t take our word for it though, you can read it for yourself…