Advocacy Continues: Joey's Story

Despite not being able to vote in the next presidential election, 16-year-old Joey has been making rounds to meet candidates as they visit his home state. To many, 16 might seem young to be so engaged—but Joey has been a seasoned advocate for years. In fact, he represented Medical University of South Caronia Children’s Hospital (MUSC) at Family Advocacy Day almost 10 years ago!

Even as a 7-year-old at that time, Joey was a strong advocate for children’s health. He was particularly passionate about raising awareness for cystic fibrosis (CF). Joey was born with CF and has spent his whole life seeing the importance of children’s hospitals for kids like him.

That’s why he began volunteering for the for the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) Rights for All campaign and interviewing candidates on the road. Joey shares his story every chance he gets!

“I want to discuss the issues I’m concerned about with people who can vote and care for me. I’m fortunate enough to have the opportunity to speak up for an issue that doesn’t only concern me, but also affects many other kids across the nation. Children’s health is an important issue because it’s simply a matter of life or death,” Joey says.

Joey wants his peers to know they can play an important role in the election even if they’re too young to vote. “There are a lot of smaller organizations out there for almost any issue. If you find what you’re passionate about and pursue it, people will recognize you as an advocate. This can open many doors and build good connections,” shares Joey.

This young fighter hopes to pursue a career in mathematics or politics. We’re so excited to see what the future holds for you, Joey!

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