AGF Joins Forces with Inspire U.S. to Create Pipeline for Long-term Youth Civic Engagement
According to the US Census Bureau, young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 have consistently voted at a lower rate than all other age groups in every presidential election since 1962. To address low youth voter turnout, The Andrew Goodman Foundation’s Vote Everywhere program and Project Hope’s Inspire U.S. program, are collaborating to help mobilize students and get them involved in the democratic process early on.
Many programs aimed at increasing voter turnout on campuses do not have lasting impact. Their presence is temporary and does not result in long-term civic engagement. By having an ongoing presence on campuses, educating and training students in high school and on through college, Inspire US and Vote Everywhere are addressing this problem by laying a foundation for lifelong civic participation.
“This collaboration with Inspire US is important because it gives us access to young leaders who have already started their journey to becoming civically engaged,” said Sylvia Golbin-Goodman, Executive Director of The Andrew Goodman Foundation.
One of these young leaders is Samantha Mooney, a Coronado High School student who joined Inspire AZ in 2013 as an Inspired Leader. Inspire AZ, one of Project High Hopes’ six state-based Inspire programs, aims to translate young leaders’ energy and motivation into work that increases political participation and supports community action.
“Young people want their voices heard and it’s important because they are the ones who will bear the brunt of all of these policies that are enacted without considering what they might think,” said Project High Hopes Founder Ira Lechner.
The pipeline created by Inspire US and Vote Everywhere, will enable Samantha Mooney to remain involved in voter and civic engagement work this Fall. Now a sophomore at Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University, she will serve as an Andrew Goodman Vote Everywhere Ambassador.
“I want to continue the work I started with Inspire AZ. There are a lot of college students who are uninformed about the voting process. I want to be able help engage them through the Vote Everywhere program because it is something I am passionate about,” she added.
“We are excited to welcome Samantha to the Vote Everywhere program at ASU. We believe civic engagement and participation is a lifelong commitment, and Samantha exemplifies that belief,” said Nadia Hussain, Vote Everywhere’s Program Director. “Having a leader who has received civic training early on from a partner organization like Inspire AZ will greatly enhance our work at Arizona State University as we engage, inspire, and train emerging civic leaders to make a difference on their campuses and beyond.”