BRIDGEWATER, NJ - A pair of recent Bridgewater-Raritan High School graduates have started a website devoted to promoting youth voices in the fields of politics and public policy.
Raj Koshal, a 2018 BRHS grad and rising junior at Columbia University, and 2019 BRHS grad Julian Melendi, a member of the Yale University Class of 2023, started the website, crossfirekm.org, which has more than 1,000 weekly readers in more than 60 countries.
“We built this platform as a tool for undergraduate college students and young voters across the world to showcase their writings and views on policy in an articulate, reasoned and thoughtful manner,” Koshal said.
Columnists on the site, Koshal said, come from several American and international universities, including Columbia, Yale, Tufts, Boston College, Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service and the London School of Economics and Political Sciences.
Koshal said the website gives undergraduates around the globe the opportunity to contribute their commentary and analysis on complex issues in world and domestic politics.
“We are a group of passionate undergraduates who cover political events and write articles,” he said. “Our team of columnists specializes in various subcategories of policy. On the international relations front, we cover everything from Africa to South Asia. Our domestic columnists cover U.S. history and culture, healthcare policy and voting rights.”
Koshal said the project came together during quarantine, and has served as an outlet for students.
“Our platform is also a tool for undergraduates around the world to network with one another and share their interests,” he said.
The goal of the project, Koshal said, is to increase youth engagement on policy issues at the grassroots level by fostering a greater understanding of issues that are of high domestic and international significance.
“We are a community of youth that seek to be the change-makers of tomorrow,” he said.
Melendi said they created the site to help people connect.
“We wanted to create a space where college students from universities around the world could connect to write about and discuss political issues,” he said.
Columnist Dennis Wieboldt, also a BRHS graduate, said the site allows him to share his insights with a larger audience.
“Joining Crossfire KM allowed me to share my policy analysis and insights with a large audience of readers from over 60 countries around the world,” he said. “It feels great to know my articles are being read by such a big and diverse audience.”
Visit the website at www.crossfirekm.org.