Engaging Young Minds Coral Springs’ Teen Political Forum Fosters Civic Dialogue

More than 420 high school students from the Coral Springs area actively engaged in learning about their civic environment by participating in the city’s annual Teen Political Forum (TPF). The event took place at the Coral Springs Center for the Arts on April 4th.

The forum provided a unique opportunity for students from J.P. Taravella, Coral Glades, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Coral Springs High, and Coral Springs Charter schools to directly interact with a panel of local elected officials. During the lively Q&A session, students were able to ask pointed questions and receive insights directly from their leaders.

This year’s forum theme was “The Political Games,” inspired by “The Hunger Games,” which brought an imaginative and engaging twist to the discussions and overall presentation.

The panel included notable figures such as Coral Springs Vice Mayor Shawn Cerra, City Commissioners Nancy Metayer Bowen and Joy Carter, Broward County Commissioner Michael Udine, Supervisor of Elections Joe Scott, Broward County School Board Regional Superintendent Dr. Jermaine Fleming, State Representatives Dan Daley and Christine Hunschofsky, and State Senator Tina Polsky.

Coral Springs City Commissioner Joshua Simmons served as the host and moderator of the event. He expressed his enthusiasm and pride in the initiative, noting, “We are stronger as a community when citizens are more involved in local government. I’m proud of our city’s young adults who organized and hosted this event, enhancing our community’s engagement. The intelligent and challenging questions posed by the students to our local officials were impressive and indicative of the thoughtful engagement fostered by the TPF.”

The TPF also acknowledged schools with high student participation by awarding cash prizes. J.P. Taravella High School led with 147 students present, earning a $1,000 cash award for their school.

The organization and planning of the forum represent a joint effort between the local high school students and the City of Coral Springs, showcasing a collaborative approach to civic engagement and education.