Every morning during the usually merry month of May, I received a text message from a mysterious source asking me to draw a card. After exchanging pleasantries, this entity, named The End, would provide me with a password to enter a web portal. There, I’d find a link to a video of a New Orleans funeral, say, or to a portrait gallery of adults recreating decades-old photographs taken during their youth. Primed to muse on the special people, places and things in my life, I was ready to pursue a quest.
One of the student videos produced by the Youth News Team during the Democratic National Convention. Find more videos here. As the Democratic National Convention begins its third day in Philadelphia, five local middle-schoolers cluster on the floor of the Wells Fargo Center, waiting. They buzz and zip, spinning to catch a glimpse of MSNBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell, then turning toward the stage as rocker Lenny Kravitz runs through a spot-on sound check of his hit, “Let Love Rule.” Selfies abound. But 13-year-old Isaak Popkin, a determined redhead from the city’s Bella Vista neighborhood, is here to work. “What’s the process of becoming a delegate?” he asks a patient woman from New Jersey. “How old are you? What do you think of the Trans-Pacific Partnership?” When the delegate demurs that she’s really not up to speed on that last question, Popkin pauses. “How old are you?” he asks again. “Oh, I asked that already,” he giggles. “I’m a little nervous. I think I’ve run out of questions.”