Six Student Leaders Named as “Hidden Heroes”

(Upper Saddle River, NJ)—This August, The Andrew Goodman Foundation’s Vote Everywhere Ambassadors from across the country will meet at the Stony Point Center in New York for the National Civic Leadership Training Summit. These students work throughout the year to develop voter and civic engagement on college campuses. This year, 103 Ambassadors at 43 campuses in 20 states worked to register voters, spearhead GOTV efforts, and remove barriers to voting on their campuses. At the annual Summit, they’ll hear from nationally-acclaimed voting rights advocates and learn to effectively lead their peers in creating change on campus.

In addition, six Vote Everywhere Ambassadors will be honored with 2017 Hidden Heroes Awards for exceptional contributions to voting rights and social justice.

The Hidden Heroes Award recognizes dedication to the mission of The Andrew Goodman Foundation, “to make young voices and votes a powerful force in democracy,” and to the Vote Everywhere program. Students chosen as awardees have demonstrated outstanding commitment to civic engagement, student leadership, and service on their campuses as well as in their surrounding communities. The award also recognizes students’ passion for civic participation and advocacy.

“Our Vote Everywhere Ambassadors continue to surprise and inspire us with the commitment they show to civic engagement and social justice,” says Sylvia Golbin-Goodman, Executive Director of The Andrew Goodman Foundation. “While many of our Ambassadors have accomplished amazing things this year, the six Hidden Heroes Award recipients stand out in their extraordinary efforts to ensure a peaceful, just, and sustainable future. We’re so proud of their work, and can’t wait to see what the next school year brings!”

The Hidden Heroes Awards ceremony will take place on Saturday, August 5, 2017 in Stony Point, NY, during the National Civic Leadership Training Summit.

The 2017 Hidden Heroes:

Olivia Anderson, Simpson College, ‘18

Olivia coordinated with local election officials to secure caucus locations and an early voting polling place on Simpson’s campus, so students could easily participate in the primary and general elections. In Spring 2017, Olivia worked with her team to highlight the problems of and voice dissent about HF 516, an Iowa law that implements restrictive voter ID practices with specific impact on out-of-state college students.

Rachael Cohen Hamilton, Kutztown University, ’18

Rachael enacted a voter registration system that provided links to online registration throughout major student access points including all University computers, the student portal, and new student orientation. Her team also coordinated shuttles to bring students to an inaccessible polling site for the November 2016 election. Following the election, Rachael and her team pursued a successful social justice campaign to change the name of Columbus Day in Kutztown University’s calendar to “Fall Break.”

Sarah Funes, University of California, Berkeley, ‘18

Sarah has participated in the Vote Everywhere program since Fall 2014, making her the most senior Vote Everywhere Ambassador and Team Leader in the program. Sarah worked diligently to secure UC Berkeley’s participation in the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, and continues to advocate for a campus voting holiday. She also lends her expertise around differently-abled rights as a member of the California Secretary of State’s Voting Accessibility Advisory Committee.

Katherine Liming, University of Dayton, ‘18

Katherine is the inaugural Team Leader at the University of Dayton. She worked with campus administrators and Board of Elections officials to create a proof of residency document for students to use at the polls on election day. She further worked with her team to integrate voter registration into the new student experience.

Dana Sweeney, University of Alabama, ‘17

Dana led the Vote Everywhere team at University of Alabama to remove an effective poll tax from students seeking absentee ballots. By meeting with campus administrators, Dana altered a system where students once needed to purchase campus mail boxes to receive an absentee ballot and created a free mail code system for students to receive ballots on campus at no cost.

Erick Jenkins, East Carolina University, ‘18

Erick is not only a Vote Everywhere Ambassador but also an activist fighting for issues of democratic engagement, social justice, and race. Erick has committed himself to putting many of Vote Everywhere’s most treasured values — inclusion, appreciation, and integrity — into action. Erick has a passion for community engagement and sustainability. Erick’s participation as a Vote Everywhere Ambassador will continue to promote a strong legacy of civic participation and reflect Vote Everywhere’s commitment to educating students and making them a powerful force in democracy.