By: Morgan Mansfield/Sophomore Writer
The Pennsylvania Department of State honored Alicia Ross’s Advanced Placement (AP) Government and Politics class and Blue Ridge High School with the Governor’s Civic Engagement Award for efforts which led to more than 88 percent of the school’s eligible students to register to vote.
“I am very proud of the work the kids did. I am hoping that we will see an increase in the number of young people voting, especially locally,” said Ross.
The award is a cooperative effort be the Departments of Education and State and Inspire U.S. It was instituted at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year. So far, 16 schools have qualified for the award. Pennsylvania State Senator Lisa Baker, Deputy Policy Director Jessica Myers, and Pennsylvania State Representative Jonathan Fritz, came to Blue Ridge on May 31st to present the Governor’s Civic Engagement Award to Ross’s class.
“I thought it was really nice to be recognized, especially because we are such a small school. The most impressive part is that only 15 out of 500 schools received the award,” said junior, Megan Sommer.
The efforts given by Ross’s AP Government class were due to the students’ understanding of the importance to vote.
Sommer says, “Voting is very important. If you leave voting to a select few, it means only that select few are represented. In order for the representative to accurately represent the constituents, everybody needs to vote and have their opinion heard.”
Ross told Raider Reader that young people don’t vote and they are strongly impacted by political issues.
Junior, Annie Bonner says, “If you don’t vote and you are old enough to, you really shouldn’t complain about anything that is happening.”
The students worked very hard to promote our youth to vote. Receiving this award for their accomplishment was an honor for our school and community, leaving the students and teachers very proud of them.
Button said, “I am very proud of our students and their AP Government teacher, Alicia Ross, for taking the initiative to promote the importance of civic engagement become a registered voter.”
Morgan Mansfield is a second year journalism student, taking on her junior year of high school. She spends most of her free time singing, playing, or writing music. Fascinated by the human mind, Morgan plans to obtain a degree in Clinical Psychology and become a therapist to help people work through their troubles.