Read about Inspire Arizona Leader Randi Dolan's experience at the Capitol and how she is motivated to lead her peers.
On March 1, I had the amazing opportunity to speak at the Arizona State Capitol in front of my peers on voter issues and the importance of the youth vote. Speaking to fellow students about their voice was an incredibly empowering experience. It is apparent to me how motivational it is to see youth voicing their opinions and being heard. I believe that is one of the most beautiful aspects of Inspire Arizona. To give the youth courage to seek their passions and to nurture their voices. Not only does our program educate students on their right to a vote, but it encourages them to go above and beyond.
Before Inspire, I would have never imagined myself voluntarily speaking in front of my peers, let alone in the historic Arizona Capitol Building. This program has given me so many opportunities to not only meet new people but to strengthen my voice and educate fellow teens on theirs.
My care for the youth vote has grown tremendously since the beginning of my Inspire Year. For this, I have to thank the amazing Inspire Arizona program coordinators for enlightening me on the incredible need for students’ votes. I additionally give credit for my newfound care and passion to the obstacles I have met since August.
There are many drawbacks students in Arizona face in regards to voting and I hope to work with my legislators to help our state overcome these. However, more personally, I have seen a tremendous amount of youth suppression in my community. Specifically, the difficulty I encountered when trying to get administrator support for Inspire. I faced a lot of stigma surrounding my generation and even more political apathy. However, I think that this setback has only encouraged me further to motivate all of my peers to register. I have seen now more than ever the relevance of our votes. I am determined to break down all barriers and stereotypes threatening the voice of my generation.
This is why I believe events like the Youth Day at The Capitol, Voter Registration Drives, and more are all so important. It is vital that we grow youth representation. We can continue to motivate and empower students by reminding them of their voice both in the ballot box and outside.