Future in focus: How President Biden’s State of the Union Address impacts students?


Zenil Koovejee

Each year, the President presents a State of the Union address, a constitutional tradition established in 1787, providing a comprehensive overview of the nation’s standing and a clear vision for the future legislative agenda.

In his second State of the Union address on Tuesday evening, President Biden spoke directly to the American people, imploring members of Congress from all political affiliations to unite and embrace his vision for the nation’s future.

In the midst of multiple controversies ravaging the political arena, Biden emphasized the importance of unity, social justice, healthcare, and infrastructure whilst also advocating for the policies he hopes will materialize in the coming months. 

“President Biden’s speech comes at a critical moment in our nation’s history, especially due to the fact that Republicans have just recently assumed control of the House. The next two years are going to be quite interesting,” said Ativ Asarawala (‘24).

In his address to the nation, President Biden brought attention to the escalating rates of anxiety and depression among the student population, highlighting the crucial role of schools in fostering mental well-being. To facilitate student mental health needs, he declared that the Department of Education will launch a grant program worth $280 million to aid schools in augmenting their professional counseling capacities.

“While I think that Biden’s concern about mental health is well-intentioned, I do not think his actions and legislation holistically reflect that concern. He needs to do a lot more for students in this matter,” said Foothill ASB Club Coordinator Akash Goda (‘24).

Biden’s focus on student mental health was reminiscent of his previous State of the Union address, in which he pointed to the pandemic’s impact on youth mental health and called for $1 billion in assistance for schools nationwide. 

“In the State of the Union, I believe that President Biden called for many things. However, this does not always come to fruition. I don’t see how anything being passed in Washington is generating real change on the ground level for students,” said Asarawala.

In addition to advocating for mental health reform, President Biden implored for a united front from Congress for the elimination of online advertisements targeted at minors and establishment of robust safeguards for youth online privacy and security.

“From an international perspective, I can not see why the US is incapable of regulating the online realm for the sake of the next generation. It has been done in other first world countries, and it can be done there as well,” said United Kingdom student Kehilan Maniram

During the course of his speech, President Biden also called for increased investment in youth activities, seeking to fund preschool education, make community college accessible to all, and furnish K-12 students with expanded prospects for vocational exploration.

“As a student, I have not been exposed to all career opportunities that are available to me. I am extremely glad that Biden has highlighted this gap and I really do hope that this changes for students in the coming years,” said Goda

At the culmination of President Biden’s State of the Union address, he illuminated the imperative matter of student well-being, shining a beacon on the necessity of mental health support, digital protection, and educational enrichment.