Blue Bell, PA — Seven high schools in southeast Pennsylvania received Governor's Civic Engagement Awards (GCEA) today for registering to vote at least 65 percent of their eligible students.
"This is an incredible achievement. You should be proud of yourselves," Acting Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said. "Thank you for engaging in the electoral process and educating your peers about it."
The GCEA program, now in its second year, encourages eligible Pennsylvania high school students to participate in elections as voter registration drive organizers, voters and poll workers. Students are eligible to 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.
The award is presented by the Pennsylvania Departments of State and Education and the Governor's Office, in collaboration with Inspire U.S., a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that trains and assists students working to increase voter participation.
Four high schools that registered 85 percent or more of their eligible students received Gold Level awards at this regional recognition event in the Science Center Theater on Montgomery County Community College's Central Campus.
The Gold Level schools are Central High School, Julia R. Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration School and Murrell Dobbins Career and Technical Education High School in Philadelphia and Haverford High School in Delaware County.
Three schools — Friends Select School and William W. Bodine High School for International Affairs in Philadelphia and Morrisville High School in Bucks County — received Silver Level awards for registering at least 65 percent of their eligible students.
Two students — Natalie Ortega-Moran and Akhila Yalvigi of Avon Grove High School in Chester County — received individual awards, new this year, for registering their peers and also serving as poll workers for the November 2018 election.
This year 23 high schools around the state earned GCEA awards, out of 63 schools that participated. A total of 3,109 eligible students were registered through the program. Eight students won individual awards.
In the GCEA program's first year, 16 high schools earned awards by registering 2,955 eligible students.
"We are pleased to see the GCEA program grow and attract more high schools," Secretary Boockvar said. "These students deserve a lot of credit for their civic-mindedness."
A regional recognition event for high schools in central and northeast Pennsylvania was held Monday at the State Museum in Harrisburg. A regional recognition event for high schools in southwest Pennsylvania will be held May 7 in the William Pitt Student Union at the University of Pittsburgh.
MEDIA CONTACT: Wanda Murren, 717-783-1621
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