Teen Political Forum 2017. Photo by Sharon Aron Baron.

By: Sharon Aron Baron

Back for its 12th year, local high school students will get a first-hand opportunity on how state and local government works at the next Teen Political Forum.

At this open mic style event where students address their state and local elected officials, the Teen Political Forum was created in 2007 by former Mayor Roy Gold and has gone on to become a huge annual event.

Now led by Commissioner Larry Vignola and assisted by student volunteers and city staff, this year’s theme was originally a Star Wars theme, however, due to the Parkland school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, it was changed to “MSD Strong”. According to community relations manager Joyce Campos, the general mood will tone down and the forum will go back to its roots as an educational program.

2016 Teen Political Forum
2016 Teen Political Forum

On the panel will be, Mayor Skip Campbell; Vice Mayor Lou Cimaglia and Commissioners Dan Daley Joy Carter and Larry Vignola. Panelists also include: Broward County Commissioner Michael Udine, and School Board Members Robin Bartleman and Donna Korn.

Schools in attendance will be: Coral Glades High, Coral Springs High, Coral Springs Charter, J. P. Taravella High, Marjory Stoneman Douglas and Coral Springs Christian Academy.

Service hours can be earned by attending the event, but students must stay until the end in order to be eligible.  The school with the largest in attendance will win a traveling trophy, and both schools with the largest and second largest in attendance will win cash to be used for a school-related improvement program. No pre-registration is required.

The event will be held from Thursday, April 5, 2018 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Coral Springs Center for the Arts located at 2855 Coral Springs Drive. Keep up with what teens are saying on Twitter by searching #TeenPoliticalForum or ask questions at @TeenPolForum.