Dear Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Romney,
Even though you are the spouses of political rivals, we know you both share one strong bond: support for us - the newest generation of Americans.
We are the future and, the better educated and healthier we are today, the more likely it is that our nation will no longer face many of today’s problems tomorrow.
However, unlike almost any other group, we have no voice in the political process. We can't vote. We don't get to make our case on CNN, FOX News or MSNBC. We don't have well-funded lobbyists in Washington, D.C. And we don't play a role in the political conventions.
As the election comes closer, more Americans and interest groups will be raising their voices. But where will ours be?
Now, more than ever, young people from preschoolers to high school students need a voice as well.
-Nearly 1 in 4 of us live in poverty today, more than any other age group, and a historic record.
-One out of every three of us is overweight or obese, a crisis that affects our health care and our national security.
-Every 26 seconds, a student will drop out of high school in the United States, robbing him or her of important opportunities to support their family and contribute to our economy.
-Only 60 percent of us age 3 to 5 years old are enrolled in a formal preschool program, private or public, which is proven to be a key to later success in school.
We are requesting that, during each of your speeches at your respective political conventions, you devote a few minutes to speak on behalf of our nation’s young people to give us a voice in the process and remind the rest of America about the challenges we face.
We hope, that despite your differences, you will both agree that the lack of our voices require the power of your combined ones.
-Jose Valentin (16) and Bella Scribner (16)