Historically, children have not been a part of the conversation. In the Junior Newtown Action Alliance (Jr. NAA), we fight to change this, because why would children not have an equally weighted viewpoint, especially regarding an issue like gun safety, which often affects schools that children attend.
Like many people our age, we were empowered to action by the efforts of the kids in Parkland, Florida, who, rather than stay quiet like so many before, decided that it was time for a change and they were the people to make it happen. We attended our first official Jr. NAA meeting in March 2018 and noticed two common things in our new fellow members: the longing for a significant change, and a desire to be heard. This has been a common pattern among our peers. However, not every person is qualified or willing to be interviewed by a news outlet, which is completely OK. This is why @HumansofNewtownCT was founded, to tell every story that the people of Newtown are willing to share with us, whether it be a record of the day itself at Sandy Hook Elementary, an explanation of their connection to the event, where they are now, how it has affected them in the long run, or what recovery is/was like. We aim to give those—especially younger people—who want to regain their voice in the face of tragedy an opportunity to do so.
We believe that through posting these stories, we humanize the people as well as the issue, and in this way, create effective change. Rather than be combative, we choose to use the many voices of the people of our town—no matter their personal background or creed—to articulate the effects that gun violence has on the people impacted by it.
While we do share the stories of adults, we believe that being a medium for young adults and kids to share their stories is the most important. The Junior Newtown Action Alliance is run by kids for kids, and @HumansofNewtownCT works to ensure that no passionate young voice goes unheard. Thanks to the efforts of today’s youth, the children of the future will no longer struggle with being disqualified from the discussion simply because of their age, and we believe that society will see only benefits from this essential change. Children do have a perspective to contribute to the conversation, and its value has been underestimated for too long.
We believe that this account and the work we are doing will encourage the youth of future generations to believe in themselves and that their voices have value. We want today’s young children to grow up with strong role models throughout all of life’s phases. Hopefully, @HumansofNewtownCT will leave a lasting impact on the self-worth of future generations of kids and encourage them to accomplish whatever they desire, because you do not have to wait until you are of a certain age to make a difference.
Founded by Lauren Davis (age 17) and Jenny Wadhwa (age 17), the purpose of the @HumansOfNewtownCT is to share the stories of those affected by the Sandy Hook shooting. These stories show that one gun does not just hurt those who are injured, but rather a community as a whole. We are the humans of Newtown, and these are our stories.