Updated: Nov 23, 2019
With devastating natural disasters, riots, and school shootings flickering across screens every day, the younger generation of Americans can often be left with a sense of utter defeat and hopelessness in the face of seemingly endless trauma and disaster. But in these times of hardship, we find leaders in the ordinary people who step up and take action to improve their country for each and every person in it.
Jai Patel, a 19-year-old gun violence prevention (GVP) activist from Jersey City, NJ studying criminal justice, is doing just that. Following the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, Patel was inspired to make a difference.
“I will keep fighting until every child can play outside, and go to school and places of worship without the fear of losing their lives,” said Patel. “I will continue to fight until the number of dead Americans from gun violence drops from 100 to zero.”
Patel’s passion for GVP is evident not only in the way he describes his work, but also the actions he’s taken to make a tangible difference in his community. On the local level, Patel has organized a citywide walk in every school in Jersey City and a March for Our Lives rally with over 3,000 attendees.
Although activists like Jai Patel are still young, they have already focused their ideal legacy and goals, with Patel aiming to enter law school and improve the state of the American criminal justice system. As he said, “This isn’t about me. I am not going to End Gun Violence alone. We will end it together.”
He hopes that his work will inspire younger generations to work even harder and get involved by using their voices in social and political spheres. Ultimately, Patel’s legacy will be one of inspiration to his peers and generations—that activism and having a positive impact on society never have an age limit.
Read more about Jai Patel and read his full story by grabbing your copy of Legacy today—use the JAIPATEL5 discount code for 5% off of a digital copy.
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Words by Samyukta Iyer
Editors: Danielle Irene, Mari Kramer, Hilay Kwan, Ry X
Designers: Shannon Jie