Colorado Student leads school to earn Secretary of State Award

Inspired Leader, Robin Peterson, led her school in registering to vote 85% the senior class at Peak to Peak High School to earn the Eliza Pickrell Routt Award for 2 years in a row. Robin answers our questions about her involvement with Inspire U.S.

1) Why do you want to register your peers to vote?

I know that small changes can have a profound impact and I’ve found that registering my peers to vote will set my generation up for years of civic engagement.

2) How did the Secretary of State award for having 85% of eligible seniors registered to vote impact your efforts, your classmates reaction to registering to vote, and your school administrations involvement?

Honestly, my main goal was to register as many people as I could to vote, the Secretary of State award was just extra motivation for my classmates and administration. It was an added bonus to spreading the need for youth engagement in the political process.

Senator Michael Bennet(D) and Robin
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3) Now that your school has earned the award two years in a row and the junior class is already near 85%, what impact is this having on the school culture around registering and voting especially in the June 26th statewide primary?

We’ve been working really hard to spread the word about the importance of voting, now that over 85% of them are registered. We hope to bring an elected official to my school to discuss why small actions can amplify our voice as a whole so as to get them engaged in the June 26th election. I’m proud to be the person that people look at and are reminded of the fact that civic engagement is important and it starts with registering to vote.

4) What have you and your school done to encourage students to vote in recent elections? What do you hope to do for the June 26 primary?

I made tons of social media posts about the local November election and offered to research all the candidates for my peers and give them a non partisan view of each of them. I, unfortunately, was not 18 at the time, but I wanted to make sure that all of the people I registered, were out their using their civic power. In the June 26th primary, I plan to get a group of my friends together and go to the polls. Then we can all get the “I voted” sticker. E

5) What advice would you have for any student, teacher, or administrator that was curious about bringing Inspire U.S. to their school?

Inspire U.S. was definitely the best thing I ever did in high school and it opened so many opportunities for me and my classmates. The program coordinators are so motivated to engage young people in the political world and they do so in a non partisan way. It’s a fantastic program and I would recommend it to every high school in the U.S. The younger people start voting, the more likely they will keep voting in the future!

6) What have been your personal highlights of being involved with Inspire?

I absolutely love working with my Inspire Coordinator and building stronger relationships with teachers at my school. I had the opportunity to have lunch with Senator Michael Bennet where I was the only female in the room to ask the Senator a question. Even with college prospects, there have been people helping me every step of the way when it comes to letters of recommendation or networking. I’m so thankful to the entire Inspire staff, especially Ryan Drysdale, for giving me so many opportunities to grow and become a leader. Thank you!

State Rep. Cole Wist(R) and Robin
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Robin is keeping elected officials accountable.  Top photo, she is with Senator Michael Bennet (D) and bottom photo, she is speaking with State Rep. Cole Wist (R).