Why the Youth Vote Counts!
YO! Youth Outlook and Wiretap have kicked off a Youth Media Blog-A-Thon about the election. As part of the event, GFC Alum, 18-year-old Jennifer, is speaking out. Here is her post about why she registered to vote in very her first election:
I have never been one to care about politics because from an early age it seemed I learned to tune the whole subject out. This year, however, I have registered to vote in my first election. I feel it would be ridiculous not to vote. I have to admit, I'm not well educated when it comes to all the issues. Still, I feel it is my duty as an American citizen to educate myself and make my voice be heard through my vote. Being part of this disintegrated youth—and a generation in which adolescents seem like they only care about getting “hyphy” or nothing at all when it comes to their community—makes me want to make a difference even more.
I registered to vote because I want everybody who is eligible to vote, especially the youth, to go out there and make their voices heard. We all want change. We hear it every day in our music, television, radio broadcasts and in our classrooms. That is why we all need to take time to make informed choices. If we all vote, it will make a big difference as to the way this country is run and who governs.
I registered to vote because for the first time ever, the elections are not focused necessarily on whether people are voting Democratic or Republican. This is the year history is changing, new faces are rising and are trying to bring out the much needed representation of minority groups. The Democratic campaign has received much press and news coverage for the simple matter of the two candidates who are running for the nomination. Who is running is allowing for more people to be engaged and aware of what is going on in the political scene. I think it is great to be living in a place where now it is becoming more apparent that people can really be represented and there is true freedom as to who can run for president. Whatever happens in the elections, I am proud to say that I have made history with my first vote this time around.
I registered to vote because the next president needs to address what youth and young adults are struggling with every day. For example, with the average college graduate student coming out into the “real world” already in debt and the current economy not allowing for just anybody to jump right into a job, education and the economy are at the top of the list for as far as youth voters are concerned. Statistics from two years ago, estimated that the average college graduate was coming out of school with about $20,000 in debt! That figure is outrageous and without a doubt intimidating. How is anybody supposed to be motivated to go to school when fees only seem to keep increasing every semester? And when everything else you need to buy to survive college keeps burning a deep hole in your pocket? To make matters worse, studies show more and more students are forced to work part-time, sometimes even full-time jobs to try and keep up with the cost of college. Although it is not impossible to balance work, school and any type of social life, nobody can argue with the fact that it is strenuous and really hard on our youth. The education systems all throughout this nation, especially in California, are discriminating against students instead of facilitating the process of getting a higher level of education. Personally, it is extremely frustrating knowing that I will have to find a job as soon as possible because the second I graduate, the pressure is on and the bills will start flowing in.
I registered to vote because this country is begging for a new leader. People are more than ready for change. But this change will only come if each of us does our part and votes so the big picture can truly change into a positive one.