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These Massachusetts Students Embrace Think The Vote’s Mission

by Bill of Rights Institute on

The Bill of Rights Institute’s Think the Vote platform enables students to engage in civil debate on various topics with their peers from all over the country. Prizes are awarded to students who make the most compelling argument, and those winners are featured on BRI’s website.

A pair of students from Mashpee Middle High School in Mashpee, Mass., said their favorite part of Think the Vote is hearing different perspectives from their classmates and students nationwide.

“By reading both sides, I was not only able to discover more facts about my belief, but I was also able to explore the opposite opinion and receive a different perspective on the topic,” said Esme Milde, a student at Mashpee.

Milde’s classmate Kira Duvall believes it is essential for students to share their beliefs “because it helps for you to build character, and to express who you are,” she said.

Kira Duvall

Duvall added that “within the classroom, there is a limited amount of opinions that I can hear from. But with the Think the Vote, I am able to hear perspectives which I would have never even considered beforehand.”

Milde and Duvall limit their time on social media and said they use it primarily to keep in touch with friends. Both students also mentioned climate change as the issue they care about most as future voters.

“Climate change is a serious global issue that is growing constantly,” Milde said. “It is harming both our planet and people, causing pollution, wildfires, droughts, diseases, death, and more.”

When asked to name her hero, Duvall mentioned her 6th-grade teacher. That person “was one of those teachers that you will remember for the rest of your life, and even to this day, she still reminds me to keep trying my hardest and to remain resilient,” she said.

However, Milde had a different person – or animal – in mind for her hero.

“My hero is my dog,” Milde said. “Her constant optimism and ability to find joy in people is inspirational to me. Although her talent of always knowing when someone is having a bad day is amazing enough, her ability to brighten that person’s day makes it even more incredible.

Esme Milde

“My dog looks out for others and can always bring a smile to my face,” she said. “Being gentle, loving, compassionate, and playful, my dog brings out the best in me. I wish to be like her so I can do the same for others.”

Duvall plans to study marine biology, engineering, or astronomy after graduating from Mashpee and wants to work at NASA, despite knowing her poor eyesight likely means she cannot become an astronaut.

“But from a young age, I did not let that stop me from picturing myself in that position,” Duvall said. As I became older, I understood how there is so much more beyond astronauts within NASA. It is a whole team of intuitive thinkers sharing the same passion for the unknown.”

Milde is hoping to put her skills as a writer and baker to good use in her future.

“But besides this outcome, I would like to go to college and major in writing,” Milde said. “Following my graduation, I would enjoy living in a small house as a professional writer with my cat named Nightcrawler and my guinea pig named Ken. Alongside this occupation, I hope to work in a bakery and create delectable treats.”