Brooke Point High School 3-Peat Champion for Voter Engagement | June 7, 2019
Brooke Point high school administration, teachers, and students recognized by the VA Secretary of Administration and Governor for registering more than 65% of their senior class to vote, for the third year in a row.
Contact: Chelsea Costello Hornyak, firstname.lastname@example.org, (304) 553-8268
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Stafford, VA - The students at Brooke Point High School in Stafford know that changing the culture around voting starts now — in their schools and communities. That’s why student leaders, with support from their principal Tammy Houk and the Stafford School District, teamed up with teachers Shylo Seaman and Patrick Holshouser to build a culture of voter engagement and civic participation at their school. Since the annual Governor’s High School Voter Registration Challenge was first announced in 2016, Brooke Point High School has made it its mission to earn this recognition. This week Brooke Point celebrated its third consecutive year earning the award.
With support from Inspire U.S. (www.inspire-usa.org), a national nonpartisan organization, Brooke Point High School registered 70% of its eligible seniors to vote. These young voters are eligible to cast their first ballots next week in the primary election for Virginia’s General Assembly.
Recent graduate Jeffrey Truong registered his peers to vote because he believes in the importance of state and local elections. “Knowledge is power,” said Jeffrey, “and when students are informed of voting and the power that it holds, they achieve so much more by actually going out and expressing their views.” Jeffrey registered to vote this year and will be voting for the first time next week.
The VA Secretary of Administration, Keyanna Conner, spoke to students at the celebration ceremony about the importance of their voice. She congratulated them for igniting a culture of voter participation amongst peers.
Brooke Point’s motto “As One” is reflected in their voter engagement efforts. “It took all of the student body coming together to make it possible,” explained rising junior Elizabeth Shackelford. “It shows the unity of our school. This makes me proud to be a student at Brooke Point.”
Brooke Point’s success would not be possible without the support of teachers Seaman and Holshouser, the advisors for the Inspire BP Club. With assistance from Inspire U.S., they have seen student political engagement and participation go through the roof. It’s important for educators to incorporate voter registration efforts into their curriculum, “[young people] have the ability to make changes and it’s so important that they understand that they are crucial,” said Seaman.
“It’s simple to tell students that they should vote because ‘It's the right thing to do,’ but Inspire is able to show students why it's the right thing to do. In class, if students are complaining about an issue, I always tell them ‘Do something about it! Vote!’ Thanks to Inspire U.S., they know how,” said Holhouser.
As the school year wraps up, BPHS is already gearing up for the 2019-2020 Governor’s Challenge. Junior Heather Duenas summed it up: “We’re not done yet. We’re on our way to the fourth!”
For student and teacher interviews at Brooke Point Contact: Sherrie Johnson at email@example.com or 540-658-6629. The last day of school for Stafford Public Schools is Friday, June 14th.
Media Outlets should contact: Chelsea Costello at firstname.lastname@example.org or (304)553-8268
Follow stories of high school civic leadership on social media by using #inspire2vote.
About the VA high school voter registration award
All Virginia high schools can participate in the voter registration challenge and are encouraged to sign up with Inspire U.S. to receive support (www.inspire-usa.org/high_school_signup). Students also can apply directly to the Inspire U.S. program if interested in civic leadership and participation for the upcoming 2019-2020 school year. High School Students apply here: www.inspire-usa.org/2019_application
About Inspire U.S.
Inspire U.S. is a national nonpartisan 501(c)3 public charity. Inspire U.S. aims to amplify the youth voice in elections through peer-led voter registration, civic engagement and get out the vote activities at high schools across the country. Inspire U.S. currently operates in 11 states and has registered more than 77,600 young people to vote since 2014. The Virginia program has helped more than 17,000 young people become registered and informed voters. Find more information about Inspire U.S. on social media @inspire2vote and at www.inspire-usa.org
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