Meacham breaks down politics through heartfelt speech


On Feb. 24, students from different high schools had the opportunity to listen to Jon Meacham speak at Desert Town Hall. 

Jon Meacham is a historian and former politician, whose voice is authoritative yet charming in which it reflects his strong personality as a public speaker. 

Youth ambassadors of the Desert Town Hall, such as Belinda Castaneda ‘23 from Indio High School and Mia Garcia ‘22 from Shadow Hills High School, attended the event and strived to mingle in and make every student feel comfortable.

Quinton Egson getting ready for his introductory speech.

After everyone has checked into the reception, students and chaperones would go into the lecture hall where the community leader, Quinton Egson, would start the evening off with his speech. His speech was about today’s youth and being able to make the right choices and decisions that will affect the outcome of the future, while also covering the aspect of mental health behind it.

“The first thing that every kid needs to pursue and have in life is a support system,” Egson said. 

Egson stressed the importance of staying away from drugs because it could really change a person and lead to a bad future. He used his best friend when he was at Indio High as an example.

“‘Five joints for five bucks’ the boy in the bathroom told us. I said to my friend, ‘let’s go,’ and he said no. I pleaded with him once again, and he said no,” Egson said. “He stayed in there, and started smoking weed that day. He’s been smoking ever since.”

The best advice that Egson has to offer to the youth today is the best way to deal with a bad habit is never to start one.

After Egson’s speech about youth, Meacham was introduced by one of the hall’s ambassadors. Students had the privilege and opportunity to ask questions to Meacham about his work and his view of politics, as well as his beliefs.

One of the attendees, Thomas Brellis ‘22, went up to the podium and spoke into the microphone. His question was bold: asking Meacheam how he contextualized today’s presidency when he is the “most boring guy in the room.” After the attendees’ shock and Meacham’s answer to the question, Meacham shook hands with Brellis to commemorate his bravery. 

“I was on top of the world,” Brellis said. “It was awesome.”

After the student-speaker session, Meacham went on to the bigger lecture hall for his main speech. 

There he went on to talk about politics in today’s world, like the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

The impact of his speech reached the lecture hall of where the high school attendees were staying. Seeing the thought and passion that Meacham put into his speech was the reason why many people chose to go see him, both adults and young adults with futures that lie ahead.