Jeannie She is a high school student from Maryland. Her activism in the gun violence prevention movement began when her community in Virginia Beach suffered a mass shooting on May 31, 2019, and she experienced the frantic and chaotic community response filled with proposals of legislation, passionate conversations, protests, and calls to action. Jeannie quickly recognized that the power of the youth voice in this fight is unparalleled and vastly undervalued. She is stoked to serve on the National Advisory Board to uplift and amplify Students like herself and take strides towards a future free from gun violence.
Get to know Jeannie even more in her Q&A!
Name: Jeannie She
Astrological Sign: Libra
Location: Bethesda, MD
School / Students Demand Action Chapter: Walt Whitman High School / Whitman Students Demand Action
What do you hope to pursue after you graduate?
Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering!!
Why is gun violence prevention important to you?
My activism in this movement began when my own father survived a mass shooting in Virginia Beach on May 31, 2019, and I saw firsthand the traumatic impact this tragedy had on my family and my community. My community’s frantic and chaotic reactionary response was filled with proposals of legislation, passionate conversations, protests, and calls to action. I quickly recognized that the power of the youth voice in this fight is unparalleled and vastly undervalued. I am driven each and every day to use my platform and my voice to amplify stories like mine, change the status quo, and take strides towards a future free from gun violence.
What are you most proud of working on as a Students Demand Action volunteer?
I’m most proud of organizing and leading a large lobbying collective last February. Whitman Students Demand Action collaborated with other youth activism organizations across Montgomery County to rally 50+ high school students for a lobby day. We met with over 20 state legislators and lobbied for four specific gun violence prevention bills, two of which made it to Governor Hogan’s desk (although he later vetoed them). As my first lobbying experience, I was proud to step outside of my comfort zone and lead my members in doing so too.
What public figure or social justice icon do you most admire and why?
Kinsale Hueston, who is a Native American writer and founder of the Changing Womxn Collective, a magazine focused on uplifting BIPOC womxn and nonbinary creators. Kinsale is an incredibly well-spoken activist and moves mountains with her poetry and social media influence. She takes action where she sees fit and does not hesitate in simultaneously leading initiatives on the local and national level. I admire her publicity of the necessity of self-care and commitment to true diversity. Kinsale inspires me to remember my roots as I am given more opportunities to enact change on a scope larger than my local community.
If you could only eat one food for a year, what would you pick?
Vietnamese spring rolls. I could never get tired of the flavorful peanut sauce and fresh crunch of lettuce and shrimp in every bite, without fail!
What do you do for self care?
I journal in my beloved bullet journal, which I’ve decorated with Everytown stickers! I also love to play the piano and sightread new pieces; music is always soothing and ever more so when it flows from my fingertips.
What motivates you to keep going?
Knowing my time on this planet is limited, I’m inspired to make tangible change, leave a legacy, and impact someone’s life positively over the course of my lifetime. I’m lucky to be able to channel my drive through the powerful gun violence prevention movement and even more outstanding Students Demand Action organization, but my motivation to make a change prevails outside of activism as well.