Former President Barack Obama penned the profile for Time Magazine's tribute to students who survived the Parkland, Florida high school shooting and are pushing for stricter gun control laws.
Time released its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world on Thursday. The profiles are traditionally completed by peers or friends of those on the list.
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students have become darlings in the progressive community with their calls for stronger gun control laws. They won the praise of the 44th president, who made a push for gun control a cornerstone of his second term. Obama wrote in Time:
This time, something different is happening. This time, our children are calling us to account.
The Parkland, Fla., students don’t have the kind of lobbyists or big budgets for attack ads that their opponents do. Most of them can’t even vote yet.
But they have the power so often inherent in youth: to see the world anew; to reject the old constraints, outdated conventions and cowardice too often dressed up as wisdom.
The power to insist that America can be better.
Obama referenced the students' willingness to stand up to the "NRA and its allies," who he said are "shills" for those aiming to make money on the sale of weapons.
"Seared by memories of seeing their friends murdered at a place they believed to be safe, these young leaders don’t intimidate easily," Obama wrote. "They see the NRA and its allies—whether mealymouthed politicians or mendacious commentators peddling conspiracy theories—as mere shills for those who make money selling weapons of war to whoever can pay. They’re as comfortable speaking truth to power as they are dismissive of platitudes and punditry. And they live to mobilize their peers."
The students pictured and headlined for the essay—David Hogg, Cameron Kasky, Jaclyn Corin, Emma Gonzalez and Alex Wind—were not mentioned by Obama in his write-up.