Last month, Youth Connection Charter School (YCCS) created an education campaign to make the political system relevant to young people, educate and involve YCCS students who are eligible voters, and discuss their concerns and ideas relative to the main issues in the election that impact all facets of their lives, including violence, employment, affordable education, and hope for a prosperous future. Over 1,500 YCCS students registered as new voters and encouraged members of their communities to also register and exercise their right to vote.
Educating youth about the election process is an essential component to the development of meaningful civic engagement. YCCS students have significant input to contribute to the forward movement of their communities, and casting their votes means their voices are heard and they’ve made an essential contribution towards community building.
“We represent the future, and the election affects our generation. The decisions the next president will make will affect us and the entire world,” shared Sandra Hartl, a senior at the YCCS Truman Middle College who helped distribute “VOTE: Because It Matters” and “VOTA: Por Que Cuenta” posters throughout campus area communities to remind Chicago residents to fulfill their civic duty and vote. Seandell McCowns of the YCCS Academy of Scholastic Achievement noted it is important for individuals to vote. “We have to put our voices to work for us. We’ve had leaders from all races and genders to fight for us so we could have the right to vote. It would be disrespectful to their legacy for us not to vote.”
YCCS is preparing young people to be productive citizens and future leaders who are concerned about their world and competent to fulfill their destiny. “Even when others have given up on hope for their success, YCCS has always stood for giving every student the opportunity to achieve a quality education, giving them not just a second chance…but a better chance,” said Sheila Venson, Executive Director at YCCS. “It is, therefore, necessary to educate our young adults about the power of the vote.”