Watch CBS News

Young activists head to Harrisburg to voice concerns over Philadelphia gun violence

High school students head to Harrisburg to make voices heard about gun violence
High school students head to Harrisburg to make voices heard about gun violence 02:36

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- This week on Focusing on the Future, we are following a familiar group of young activists who are inspiring other teens to register to vote. 

But, this week they are taking their show on the road to some pretty high places.

Young activists used improv to illustrate their vision at Central High School just a few weeks ago.  

From rehearsing voter skits to discussing social and political policies, Pennsylvania Youth Vote and community uprising told CBS3 they are looking to make a change. 

"I personally feel like gun violence has gone up the charts," one student said. 

Now, they made their voices heard to state legislators in Harrisburg. 

 Dozens of Philadelphia youth spoke to members of the House. 

"You have to live with the fear that one day you or your family won't come home," another student said.  

"All Philadelphians worry that we might be the next face on a t-shirt," a young girl said.  


"We need better-paying jobs that pay more than more than $7.25 an hour," a student said. "How is someone supposed to stay passionate about something or make a living when they get paid so little and feel less than." 

Hillary Do is one of the mentors for Community Uprising. She says a big focus is to bring awareness about gun violence and demand lawmakers take action. 

They have a lot of grit and resilience. I think everyone should be watching out for them in the future because they are the change makers," Do said.   

From Harrisburg and back to Philadelphia, the young activists were invited to speak with Mayor Jim Kenney. CBS3 followed up by asking the mayor who is accountable for getting a grip on gun violence.

"We hold the government accountable. We have as a government the authority and power to control the availability of these weapons," Kenney said. "They do it in other countries."  

It's why the Philadelphia Youth Vote continues to recreate these skits with a message: "Our voices matter, our vote matters, and the change we need to see made matters." 

 Know an outstanding high school senior that deserves recognition? Let us know by completing the form below and we may select the student to be featured in our "Focusing on the Future" series.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.