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Local Student Activists Want Their Voices Heard

CHICAGO (CBS) -- These days, we are seeing more and more activists at a young age.

But some Chicago eighth graders say age shouldn't be an obstacle.

They formed their own activist group, with the blessing of their school, and they haven't looked back.

CBS 2's Dana Kozlov explains their mission in this original report.

It's the scramble before this group's big event.

An advocacy conference at Bell School on Chicago's North Side.

Organized by PIFA: Political Intersectional Feminist Activists.

Run by eight graders.

PIFA's three co-founders brought their idea to Principal Katie Miller at the beginning of the school year.

Before the Me Too movement.

Before Parkland High School students began raising their voices after the mass shooting there.

"This is, I think, in all the time that I've been here,  the first time we've had this come from the students," says Miller. "With very little, if any, teacher involvement."

They have weekly meetings but set their sights on hosting this conference.

"It's finally coming together and I'm still in shock that it's even happening to be honest," says PIFA co-founder Lana Gillman.

Right now, PIFA has about 30 members.

Many have already marched and protested causes in which they believe.

When asked about their status as young teenagers, they admit they may not be taken seriously but say they have a lot to say.

"We're just in eight grade but we're also humans and we've also been exposed to everything that's happening in the news all our lives," says PIFA co-founder Elizabeth Onofre.

"When I hear people say, like, 'oh no you can't do that.  You're too young' that makes my voice louder," says PIFA co-founder Rose Rezac. "That just makes me want to do something about it."

The students got a grant for the conference, which included speakers and information booths.

They plan to continue their activism into high school.

They realize not everyone will agree with them, but embracing everyone's right to have a voice.

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