At the beginning of the school year, Bronx high school teacher Jackson Shafer says his students were beyond apathetic about politics - many couldn't even name the Vice President.
But something happened around the time of the Iowa primary - a realization that they were living in the middle of history, that change was possible and they had a role to play in making it happen.
Shafer says his students started coming to school early - and even suggested an extra homework assignment inspired by Barack Obama's "Yes We Can" speech after the New Hampshire primary.
Freshman Anna Boateng performed her speech for the class, beginning: "People say that South Bronx kids will never amount to anything, but I say, 'Yes We Can.'"
On the same day I filmed their speeches, Barack was delivering his speech about racial reconciliation in Philadelphia. The Bronx students took up the challenge to talk about race and how their generation is already breaking down old barriers.
Here's their story: