“Sometimes it's not about telling others where the path is and how to follow it but fighting to get there together. A leader doesn't always need to be at the forefront, sometimes they're better in the back.”
As news of the 17 students murdered in Parkland, FL spread, Arielle Geismar was in shock. “It could have been me. It could have been one my friends. It could have happened here,” she thought. Realizing gun violence knows no state lines and could happen anywhere, Arielle resolved to be part of the solution. She created NYC Says Enough (NYCSE), an organization devoted to addressing the institutional nature of gun violence and an outlet for teen action. NYCSE focuses on reaching out and connecting students in disproportionately impacted communities with their state and national representatives to advocate for stricter gun control laws. At their first rally NYCSE attracted upwards of 5,000 students. Since then Arielle and NYCSE have engaged more than 23,000 people through community involvement. They’ve sponsored numerous letter writing campaigns and created an independently researched, publicly accessible database tracking New York politicians and their voting record on gun reform.