Carlisle, PA – Acting Secretary of State Robert Torres today honored Carlisle High School students for efforts that led to voter registration of 85 percent of the school’s eligible students.
“The Governor’s Civic Engagement Award recognizes our next generation of leaders for educating their classmates about civic responsibility and enlisting them in the voting process as soon as they are eligible,” Torres said. “Seeing these young people so eager to participate in our democracy gives us hope and faith in the future.”
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. Carlisle High School achieved 85-percent registration of eligible students.
“We worked with the organization known as Inspire U.S. to get the seniors registered. We had a big senior kickoff assembly in early January to get the senior class ‘pumped up’ and had those eligible make a pledge to register. We then had a full assembly in late January where seniors could actually complete the registration form,” said Kevin Wagner, chairman of the Social Studies Department at Carlisle High School. “I believe this has been a very valuable lesson for all involved – students and teachers – in terms of the importance of getting out and voting. Now, more than ever, our younger generation is realizing the power of their voice and vote.”
The Governor’s Civic Engagement Award was instituted at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year. Since then, 16 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.
MEDIA CONTACT: Wanda Murren, 717-783-1621