Personality Profile: Leah Lipke

Leah at the March For Our Lives stage.

BY ILYSSA MANN

Ever since the 2016 Trump election, junior Leah Lipke said political issues have encapsulated her. She said her passions for topics such as gun regulations and women’s rights have inspired her to speak with politicians and express what changes she wants to bring to the United States.

“Trump’s win [has] revealed issues to me that I wanted to work to fight against and combat with my actions,” Lipke said. “Now it is finally my turn to articulate myself and fight for the things that are important to myself and the people around me.”

Social studies teacher and adviser of the Law and Justice club Wendy Wuenker, said Lipke takes initiative in issues involving gun regulations and school safety. She said Lipke is definitely making a change in these areas.

“Leah doesn’t have to be reminded as to what to do as she takes initiative, which sets her apart from most students her age that I have experienced,” Wuenker said.

Because of this passion, in March, Lipke went to The March for Our Lives in Washington D.C. with the Gifford’s foundation. Alongside Marjory Stoneman Douglas students, she said she spoke to many members of Congress about gun regulations.

“We were able to speak with various politicians; some of which closed their doors on us,” Lipke said. “I guess we were somebody that they weren’t prepared to help, because they didn’t want to change gun regulations and that taught me a lesson on how not everyone will be open to your ideas of positive change.”

Due to her age, Lipke said her opinions are not always respected, and this has proved to be a challenge to her at times. However, she said she will continue to make herself heard when it comes to the issues that are important to her.

“It has [been] revealed to me that not everybody will want to listen to your story and you will not always find a public and an audience that will want to help you create a positive change for your community,” Lipke said.

Junior Julietta Bea, a close friend of Lipke’s, said she has supported her in all of her achievements.

“Watching someone who you consider a close friend strive to these lengths in following their passion is inspiring,” Bea said. “A lot of people, both minors and adults, could learn something from [Lipke].”

Bea said she was especially proud and impressed by Lipke in her efforts to regulate gun laws by going to D.C. and speaking to officials by holding a press conference on Capitol Hill.

“The fact that she is only sixteen, and has privately spoken with Joe Biden and various other politicians, just shows how determined she is in making this country a better place for herself, her family, friends and really anyone that lives in the United States,” Bea said.

Wuenker said Lipke would be ranked in the top five percent of the students she has taught with regards to her responsibility, maturity, fairness and honesty. She said Lipke has taken time to narrow down her goals and is doing something about achieving them right now.

“Leah is a fierce, independent and capable person and will be very successful in whatever path she chooses for her career,” Wuenker said. “I would feel relieved to have someone such as Leah as a leader in the political world because I know she would be honest, display integrity and is compassionate toward the needs of all people.”

While Lipke said she is not certain that her actions are making a difference, she said she will invest everything she has inside of her to accomplish her goals. Furthermore, the one lesson Lipke said she will remember from all of this is her rejection from the people in the Senate and what it has taught her.

“That rejection, when the people in the Senate quite literally shut their doors on our faces, has helped me grow stronger,” Lipke said. “It has helped me in not only pursuing policy, but also in my day to day life. I realized that I will be rejected, but I will also be able to fight against it.”

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