GLENWOOD, Iowa, U.S.A. – A visit from Ben Carson, one of the Republicans hoping to be the party’s nominee for president, excited many students here Thursday.
“I like his values as a Republican,” said sophomore Jessica Williams.
Brianna Leonard, a sophomore at the school, said after the debate that she liked what Carson said about guns.
“One thing that resonated with me was that it would be good to have mandatory gun safety classes to own any firearms instead of taking guns away from people,” said Leonard.
Carson made a campaign stop at Glenwood Senior High School, in Mills County, Iowa during the school day.
“It is really up to us to make the change because we are so fortunate to live in this country,” Carson told his audience.
Both students and members of the community were allowed to attend the town meeting and listen to Carson.
“Ben Carson is my homie,” senior Zach Brauch teased.
But Leonard had a different reason for coming to see the candidate.
“I am opposed to his lack of experience in politics,” said Leonard.
Carson began his speech speaking of the recent loss of one of his campaign workers in a car accident. Braden Joplin, a 25-year-old volunteer, was a kind and considerate young man, according to Carson.
“He was such an amazing young man who cared so much about what was going to happen to our nation, what was going to happen to the next generation,” Carson said.
Carson discussed what it was like growing up in an impoverished home with his mother working two jobs and often not seeing her for a week. He delved into stories of America’s founding fathers and their intentions for the future when writing the Constitution.
“Benjamin Franklin, in particular, talked about the fact that our freedoms and our system are dependent upon a well informed and educated” populace, Carson said.
In his remarks, Carson highlighted an issue facing youth of the United States.
“This generation is the first generation in the history of America not expected to do better than their parents,” he said.
Afterwards, Carson took a couple questions from the audience.
One member of the community asked what Carson would do to defeat ISIS.
“We have to take their oil,” Carson said. “ISIS is the wealthiest terrorist organization in the world because they have oil. They shouldn’t have oil.”
At the conclusion of the debate, the auditorium welcomed Carson down before the stage to talk to and meet the candidate personally.
Iowans will be the first Americans to cast ballots in the presidential primary and will do it by caucusing on Feb. 1.
Originally published on Youth Journalism International