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Students use competition winnings to empower voters with registration event

Students, teachers, and faculty from Kennedy High School take a moment to take a photo during the voter registration drive held at the school last week.

Students use competition  winnings to empower voters with registration event
October 07
14:16 2020

Last weekend students from Kennedy High School did their part to ensure everyone in the community has the opportunity to cast a ballot on Election Day. On Saturday, Oct. 3, the school’s SGA (Student Government Association) held a drive-thru voter registration event.

The event, which was held in the school’s parking lot, was made possible by winnings earned from the 2020 Prom Challenge, a national competition sponsored by the When We All Vote organization, in partnership with MTV. The competition recognized high schools with the most creative and impactful voter registration program. Kennedy was one of 20 schools that received $5,000 to go toward their prom. But when it was canceled, the students decided to use the money to empower voters.

Students set aside $3,000 to pay for the food truck meals and expected to be able to provide about 300 meals. Another $1,000 will be used for t-shirts, decorations and supplies, and the final $1,000 will be used for later projects.

Sara Church, who is a teacher at Kennedy and SGA advisor, said she was proud of her students for understanding the importance of voting and their decision to hold the voter registration drive. “They really are role models for younger students,” Church said.

Dr.William Wynn III, principal of Kennedy High School, said “I’m really in awe by the passion and energy our young people have.” Wynn, who was named principal earlier this year, said the students at Kennedy are proof that the future is in good hands.

“This was all student devised. Students came up with the idea, the concept … even going back to the students taking the Prom Challenge,” Wynn said. “That’s just phenomenal and it really gives me hope in our people that they’re taking an active part in not just being students, but being citizens as well.”

Winners of the competition were announced during a Zoom call where students had the opportunity to meet former First Lady Michelle Obama. Jessica Martore, a junior at Kennedy, said meeting the First Lady was amazing. Although she’s not old enough to vote, Martore said she was proud to be able to help register voters in the East Winston community and bring notoriety to Kennedy. “We’re a small school so we don’t get the attention some of the bigger schools get, so it feels good to be able let people know about Kennedy,” Martore said.

Student Mirtha Medel-Crispin said: “I think voting is important because that’s the whole point of America, to be a democracy, to be ruled by the people. I think people have forgotten that and people have stopped caring about voting. It’s time to come together and change the society.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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