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Alexander Hirji '18 Speaks with 6th-Graders About Civic Engagement

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

SFFS alum Alexander Hirji '18 was a big hit with our 6th-Graders last week when he Zoomed in to talk with them about his involvement with the San Francisco Youth Commission. Alexander encouraged our students to "participate in democracy even if they can't [yet] vote," and our Friends left the conversation inspired about ways they can get involved in their local community and political scene. 


SFFS alum Alexander Hirji '18 was a big hit with our 6th-Graders last week when he Zoomed in to talk with them about his involvement with the San Francisco Youth Commission. crediting Director of High School Transition and 8th Grade Advisor Kristen Daniel for encouraging he and his classmates to apply. 6th Grade Advisor and Humanities Teacher Evelyn Florin shared that Alexander recounted the awakening of his own activism in the spring of his 8th Grade year at Friends, when gun control was a prominent issue. That year, he and a number of classmates participated in a walkout from school; he remembers the action being a pivotal moment for him. 6th-Graders connected with his comments after recently studying civil disobedience during the fight for the 19th Amendment. 

Evelyn noted that Alexander also engaged with 6th-Graders on the topic of Prop G, which would give 16- and 17-year-olds the right to vote in local San Francisco elections. Our 6th-Graders were particularly interested in this topic, as they just wrapped up a series of debates on the issue. On November 3, Prop G was narrowly voted down, though Alexander noted that he strongly supported it. 

Alexander ultimately recommended that 6th-Graders start getting involved in their communities now, and noted that participating in Board of Supervisor meetings or city department meetings is easier than ever in the days of COVID, as these gatherings are all taking place online. He encouraged them to "participate in democracy even if they can't [yet] vote."

Debriefing with a small group of students this afternoon, Evelyn said that many of our 6th-Graders agreed that they were so impressed to learn how involved Alexander is in municipal government, even at the age of 16. 

Major thanks to Alexander for participating in this talk with the 6th Grade—connecting with alumni is so meaningful for our Friends, and we so appreciate it when our alums take the time to come back for a visit (even over Zoom)!