JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A group of more than a dozen Jacksonville students are hoping to bring change to Capitol Hill. The big opportunity and a deadline has them calling on big corporations and even celebrities for help.
News4Jax first introduced you to the Robert E. Lee High School students in June, when they invited local community leaders into their leadership class to discuss the change they want to see in the world.
One student's story attracted the attention of the New York Times. An editorial on Daquan Jackson, 16, has the group of teenagers getting attention from around the world, and now, from Congress.
The group of young men call them themselves EVAC Movement. They said they picked the name because they are trying to evacuate people out of the "cave of hopelessness and ignorance."
The New York Times editorial was focused on Jackson's arrest at 13, when he was charged with battery. He pleaded guilty. And while he stayed on the right track, his family couldn't pay final court costs, so his probation was extended.
His is a story that many want to hear more of. That's why Jackson was invited to speak before the Senate next week about his experience with the juvenile justice system.
But he wants his whole class to get the chance to go.
"Will you please fly our whole class to D.C. for free so they can attend this hearing with me?" Jackson asked in a video posted to Facebook.
The EVAC Movement is trying to get the attention of airlines and celebrities on social media with a video, and they're asking for others to share the video to make it go viral so they can make big things happen.
The group's goal is to send all 16 students to the Capitol, along with two chaperones.
The hearing is on Tuesday, so they're asking everyone to share the video to their Facebook or Twitter, hoping it will get attention and help them get on their way. For some of the students, this would be their first trip outside of Jacksonville.