Harmony, PA – Acting Secretary of State Robert Torres today honored Seneca Valley Senior High School students for their efforts to encourage voting and civic participation.
“The Governor’s Civic Engagement Award recognizes the efforts of the next generation of leaders to educate their fellow students about their right to vote and engage them in the voting process as soon as they are eligible,” Torres said. “It is heartening to see young people so eager to participate in our democracy.”
The award is a cooperative effort by the Departments of Education and State, in collaboration with Inspire U.S., a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works to transform young leaders’ inspiration into action. The program offers resources and guidance for student leaders as they educate their peers regarding the electoral process and the importance of civic engagement.
Qualification for the award is measured by the percentage of voter registrations among a school’s eligible student population. Students may register to vote if they are 18 years of age or will turn 18 on or before the date of the next primary, special, municipal, or general election.
Schools that attain 85-percent voter registration among their eligible student population will qualify for the Gold Level award, while those that register 65 percent will be honored with the Silver Level award. Seneca Valley High School achieved 93-percent registration of eligible students.
“As a district, we are honored to receive this award,” said Seneca Valley Superintendent of Schools Dr. Tracy Vitale. “I am most proud of our social studies teacher, Ms. Rebekah Grinnen, who spearheaded the effort to not only encourage 18-year-olds to register to vote, but who also developed an interdisciplinary program with teachers in other subject areas to demonstrate to our students the importance of democracy and their civic duty to vote.”
The Governor’s Civic Engagement Award was instituted at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year. Since then, 15 schools have qualified for the award.
High schools can sign up directly with Inspire U.S., which will support student leaders as they coordinate peer-to-peer voter registration drives and efforts to get out the vote. Inspire U.S. also assists with materials and data management, and in organizing school celebrations and recognition events.
More information about the award is available on the Department of State website.
For more information on voter registration, please call the Department of State’s toll-free hotline at 1-877-VOTESPA (1-877-868-3772) or visit votesPA.com.
MEDIA CONTACT: Wanda Murren, 717-783-1621