April 5, 2019 Blog

First Annual “Advocacy with Heart” Field Trip

What an experience of a life time! We are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Alliance for Gun Responsibility supporting the Youth Ambassador students allowing them to stand up with confidence to advocate for 2019 gun responsibility legislation.

We set off yesterday for the first annual “Advocacy with Heart” field trip with Youth Ambassador students from Denny International and Jane Addams Middle Schools. The Seattle Police Department provided the transportation to Olympia and chaperoned the Youth Ambassador students for the day. The Alliance for Gun  Responsibility was an invaluable partner by educating the Youth Ambassadors on the various bill, taking the time to visit the classroom, and providing critical materials and staff support for our field trip.

The Youth Ambassador were honored to meet with Governor Inslee, First Lady Trudi Inslee, Senators Nguyen, Saldana and Salomon, and Representatives Fitzgibbon, Pollet and Valdez.

One of the Jane Addams Youth Ambassador student was counting the days until the field trip to Olympia. He was always passionate about gun responsibility, especially because of all the school shootings but this issue became personal on March 28th.

There was a shooting in Seattle and one of the victims was Deborah Judd, an amazing teacher from Laurelhurst Elementary. The Youth Ambassador student found out about the shooting through text messages from other friend and was shocked! His wonderful teacher from elementary school had been shot – how could one of our very own teachers be a victim of gun violence? Mrs. Judd is one of his favorite teachers, incredibly dedicated to students and loved by many. Mrs. Judd was shot three times just driving home from another day of 30 years of teaching. The students see her as an angel. She has always been a teacher who thinks of her students first.

Judd was quoted as saying, “I love my second-graders and I’m worried about them,” In fact, in the ambulance she said, “You need to get a substitute to Laurelhurst Elementary for tomorrow.”

As a Youth Ambassador these students have declared to “do whatever we can to make sure that guns do not end up in the hands of those who wish to harm innocent people and who only want to be violent”. This experience has made the Youth Ambassador students lifelong advocates who are grateful for the Alliance for Gun Responsibility and all their phenomenal work.

It takes a village!

— Lori Markowitz is the Executive Director at Youth Ambassadors.