It’s been six months since the start of Inspire Colorado’s first Inspired Year.
Six months since students started their Inspire year at the Leadership Academy, six months since we first started talking about the importance of youth voice, voter registration, and civic action.
Since then, Inspire Colorado has accomplished a lot.
Like A LOT.
Let’s take a look:
We’ve learned that our Inspire Leaders are seriously awesome. They have incredibly unique stories that they’ve brought with them from their walks of life. These stories are empowering, challenging, and real. Whoever thinks that young people haven’t experienced enough to make decisions and use their voice clearly haven’t talked with young people.
We’ve learned that our students DESERVE to be heard. They shouldn’t be just encouraged to use their voice, they should demand that their stories are heard and adults should give them enough respect to listen.
We’ve learned that regardless of who they vote for, youth will determine the outcome of the 2016 Election.
We’ve learned that young people aren’t the future, they are the NOW. All of the decisions made at a policy level are often made by adults with the thought that young people aren’t ready yet. The reality is that 18 to 25 year-olds know just as much as adults and will be impacted by decisions made through voting for a longer period of time than adults.
Since the start of our Leadership Academy, our students have single-handedly registered and committed 858 students to vote in the elections this year. That is 16.27% of all seniors within the 16 high schools that our students come from. Our students have participated on local youth commissions, done voter registrations at candidate forums, advocated for issues such as immigration and education funding at conferences, and talked with their peers about being more engaged within the community.
This wasn’t easy, as our students (and all of us, as a program) have been learning how to best create a culture shift where students are empowered to use their voice instead of apathetic. This culture of apathy is so ingrained in our young people that, even when asked to register to vote, many people choose not to-- “just because.”
While we’re excited and extremely proud about all that our students have accomplished, we’re so can’t wait to continue working towards are goal of registering 85% of the senior classes of each school that our students represent. As many of our leaders have mentioned, one voice is just a voice; together, we make a movement.
This is a huge year for our country and we’re excited to be a part of a movement that helps youth not just use their voice, but be heard.
Here is a quick look at where you can catch our Inspired Leaders in the coming weeks:
Voter Registration in classrooms, schools, and in the community
- End of the Year Celebration on May 1st
Thanks for checking in and we can't wait to show off what our students do next!