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Tiara Darisaw, 13, has already found a sweet spot with intertwining her love of politics and impacting the Flint community. In the midst of issues plaguing the city of Flint with the water crisis, Darisaw, a student at Flushing Middle School was inspired to develop her own organization she calls “Children for Flint.” It will gear towards youth between the ages of 7 to 18 with a focus on politics, current issues, volunteer opportunities and most importantly giving young people a platform to amplify their voices.
“Children don’t really know anything about what’s going on in Flint, Darisaw said.” All they know is that they can’t drink the water or they can’t do things with the water because, you know, it’s poisoned. They don’t know the background story or they don’t know anything about politics.”
In 2016 she attended training with Michigan United, a statewide organization of “community members and institutions fighting for the dignity of every person,” she realized she found her life calling. Since then she has engaged with a number of political leaders including state representatives, members of Congress, Flint officials and Michigan gubernatorial candidates hoping to win the state’s top seat this year.
“The second day of training I was hooked. I’m 11 [at the time]. I’m too young, I can’t vote, I don’t have any power whatsoever but I learned that our voice matters no matter what age,” Darisaw said. “I was able to speak, I was able to tell people how I actually felt and I didn’t know that as an 11-year-old that I could do that. So that’s how I started.”
She has expressed her intentions to make a mark in politics in the future, including running for Flint City Council for the Democratic Party. Most importantly, she wants children her age to know that they have the ability to make a difference in Flint and she intends to lead by example.
“I believe that I can cause change. If the kids understand how politics works, it’ll be easy to work in politics once you know. So that’s why we have to teach people that their voice matters.”
For more information about Children for Flint call (810) 447-8959.