Asbury Park, November 20, 2021 – High school honors student and alum of the Teen Think Tank Project Winter Research Cohort, Jared Cannon, was appointed to a fellowship with the organization’s Board of Directors. In this role, Cannon will lead the Teen Think Tank Project’s efforts to connect with fellow socially conscious students and give them a platform to fight for social justice.
Cannon completed his tenure as a research associate with the Teen Think Tank Project’s inaugural research cohort in the spring of 2021. He and seven other high-achieving students spent twelve weeks researching social protest movements in sports and creating a policy framework for elevating athletes’ voices. Cannon co-authored a research paper offering policy recommendations to the social, political, and economic impediments that hinder the voices of athletes. Cannon is also co-authoring a children’s book to educate youth about racial injustice. “I never thought in million years that I’d be the one to write a children’s book, especially one about racial injustice,” said Cannon, “I’m very proud and honored to say that now I am doing it.”
During his time as a research associate Cannon appeared as a guest on the organization’s podcast, Here’s the Problem, to discuss his passions for raising awareness about mental health and the stigmas surrounding accessing care. “You join the Teen Think Tank Project to be a part of something that will create change,” reflects Cannon. “The Teen Think Tank Project is a completely unique, one-of-a-kind opportunity and I’m inspired to help make the world a better place.”
Cannon’s appointment as the first student member of the Board of Trustees sets the bar high for future fellows. “When we created the Teen Think Tank Project, we reserved seats on our Advisory Board for the student alumni of our program so that they can influence the direction of our social justice work,” said Teen Think Tank Project co-founder Matthew DeSantis. “From the moment Jared entered the program, I knew we would invite him to sit on our board once he completed his research cohort. He is everything we look for in a teen change agent and his contributions to the TTTP community will be meaningful and long-lasting.”
Cannon has already started to create change. At the conclusion of the 2021 Winter Research cohort, Cannon and his cohort peers shared their research with their administrators at Archbishop Wood Catholic High School. Thanks to their initiatives to educate their classmates and dialogue around social justice issues, the school is now offering an African American Studies and Civil Rights class.
As an aspiring health care professional and activist, Cannon spent part of his summer vacation attending the prestigious Health Career Scholars Academy at University of Pittsburgh. The program accepts academically talented young men and women ages 15-18 for a month-long, hands-on experience at one of the top medical centers in the country.
Cannon is a senior at Archbishop Wood Catholic High School in Warminster, PA and enrolled in the Saint Thomas More Honors Program. He is the Vice President of the Performing Arts Department, a Senior Class Officer on the Executive Board of the Student Council and was recently elected as a Student Officer of the Science National Honors Society. Cannon is also a member of the National Honors Society, Science National Honors Society, the Community Service Corporate and Athletes Helping Athletes. Outside of school Cannon works at Wegmans as a cashier and customer service representative.
Teen Think Tank Project is a student-run policy institute that empowers students to become future changemakers by fostering critical thinking, research techniques, and problem-solving skills to develop policy frameworks for real-life issues. Teens find their voice and create change at www.teenthinktankproject.com or @teen_thinktank.
Kelly Nagle, Co-founder and Vice Chair