Senior invites teens to share their voice

Senior Asher Hoffman takes independent action on gun awareness

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On Mar. 23, senior Asher Hoffman began “Voices of American Teens,” an online video archive with the hopes of raising awareness about gun violence.

Hoffman is utilizing his father’s app “Gather Voices”, while using 3-2-1 Video (an app) as a platform to collect videos around the country. (Access the code: VAT837)

Hoffman’s goal in the campaign is to alert the world to gun violence that affected many lives.

“The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness and keep gun reform discourse alive and not forget about how many innocent lives were taken away,” said Hoffman.

Hoffman uses the app 3-2-1 video in affiliation with an app his father, Michael Hoffman, created called Gather Voices, a technology startup that makes it effortless for people to gather manage and publish user-generated videos. Students around the world now have the opportunity to be part of the “Voices of American Teens” campaign by submitting their responses.

Hoffman is using the app to collect videos responding to questions regards to gun control and safety.

Hoffman said that “With all the information that’s being gathered I will consider joining a steering committee, which will help guide the campaign.”

Eventually, Hoffman will make a final video containing all responses that were submitted through the app and post it on Voices of American Teen’s twitter to show politicians.

Junior Sam Huertas heard about Hoffman’s campaign from friends and was eager to share his voice through the app.

Huertas believes that if schools are able to provide support to students in times where gun violence is so common, it will make kids feel safe at school.

“Schools should focus on kids who are expressing any signs of mental illness. Teachers should be trained to read signs of illnesses and be able to offer any sort of help during daunting times like these,” said Huertas.

Senior Indigo D’Avalon from Portland Oregon heard about the Campaign through Hoffman.

D’Avalon believes mindfulness classes offered in highschools can ease emotions and make people realize that in times of violence, the only option is not to take someone’s live.

“By offering stress coping techniques, people will realize that the only option is not to take someone’s life,” said D’Avalon.

Senior Joanna Raimo believes that ultimately politicians hold the responsibility for making our community safe.

“There are so many things kids and adults are doing across the nation to advocate for gun violence, but at the end of the day, it is politicians and people of power who can make a real change,” said Raimo.

Senior Matan Berman from North Springs Charter High School Atlanta, Georgia suggests a few ways to reduce gun violence.

Raimo believes that to keep us safe, our representatives, senators and governors need to ban bump stocks, comprehensive background checks so people who are mentally unstable and have a mental health history won’t be able to purchase a gun.

“Three big things I’d change would be banning bump stocks, banning assault rifles and making extensive background checks. All of these things would make us feel safer as a community.”

While students around the world have successfully uploaded their responses, Hoffman is using their responses to keep gun discourse alive, until politicians make a change.

The app received serious positive feedback. Huertas believes that 3-2-1 Video is a great way to collect videos.

“The app has a lot of potential and could spread awareness worldwide. I’d recommend it to anyone who is interested in helping the world.”

“3-2-1 video is a perfect way for any company or group to receive user-generated videos. They can ask questions from anyone around the country. It’s the crowning way to keep the pressure on our politicians, until they make a change,” said Huertas.

Junior Evan Gross agrees that the app is a way to keep Gun reform conversation alive.

“I think the app is a flawless way to collect user-generated videos around the world. Anybody who downloads the app can make a video,” said Gross.

Hoffman said with all the information he gathered, he will consider joining a steering committee to help guide the campaign.”

“Without conversations about gun reform, we will never reach our goal of having a safe school or nation. We need to continue to put pressure on our politicians until we see improvement in our communities,” said Hoffman.

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