Our teenagers have grown up online and connected — and now we see that they are not just speaking amongst themselves, but they are speaking for all of us. There is urgency behind their actions and conviction behind their words.

The students of Parkland have made it safe to speak up, and America is listening. We've heard words like "moral responsibility" and demands to move from thoughts to real action on behalf of this generation and those to come.

Two issues that are surfacing in youth-led movements are common sense gun control and common sense action on climate. Youth today are breaking the spiral of silence. Inaction on gun control is life threatening. The effects of climate change can be devastating. Both issues have dire consequences.

By exposing the generational divide on these issues, we see that youth are acting with intention, but they cannot succeed in change without our help. Enacting tougher gun restrictions can save lives now. Transforming energy and transportation sectors, along with carbon fee and dividend solutions, can save lives tomorrow.

Young people are seeking to reclaim their future. In April, with the anniversary of Columbine and recognition of Earth Day, let there be no mistake: While we all want an America with healthy children, healthy communities and healthy environments, adults have stalled on action.

Rallying with hope and inspiration, youth are taking the lead. Let's move forward with them.

Janet Atkinson

Truckee, California