Mobilizing Young Voters by Christy Esther, Lead Campus Organizer, Pennsylvania

Mobilizing Young Voters by Christy Esther, Lead Campus Organizer, Pennsylvania

My name is Christy Esther, and I’m the Rise Philadelphia Team Lead Campus Organizer and a graduate student finishing my MBA in Finance and Data Analytics. I received my BBA in Business Management from Kennesaw State University in North Atlanta. Growing up, I lived much of my childhood in Gwinnett as a resident of the Metro Atlanta region.  believe Higher education should be incredibly accessible to anyone. The HOPE Scholarship greatly helped with my undergraduate funding, therefore I’m grateful that I was able to finish my college education in Georgia. Unfortunately, for many students, that isn’t always the case, and paying for education involves more expenses than just tuition.

My parents immigrated to the U.S. before I was born, so I’m appreciative that I can use the opportunities here to further my education and better myself in the U.S. As a first-generation college student and graduate student, I am organizing with Rise because I believe that more young people should express their opinions and fight for the issues that matter most to them. I’m taking a stance because we need more young people to speak up about what they believe in and take part in initiatives that serve them. The cost of education is higher than it has ever been, and the burden of living expenditures further exacerbates these challenges. Simply put, higher education is too expensive. I am going to cast my vote this year in my hometown of Georgia, and I encourage everyone to join me in doing the same, whether it’s in your hometown or on the campus where you’re now attending! Because we have been underrepresented and ignored for too long, young people in particular need to stand up and have a voice. 

As a woman, a person of color, and a first-generation student, my “why” – or reason for voting – might be a little bit different than yours, and it might be quite particular, however, I believe everyone should find a purpose in what motivates them to create the change they desire for themselves.

Many people think that their voices on these issues don’t matter, especially when it’s difficult to see observable outcomes or change being made. But I am offering everyone the biggest task of all: to vote on the issues that matter most to you and to closely monitor the policies related to these issues. It’s quite easy to give up, but we need to keep in mind the significance of policies today and the goals we have in mind! Issues such as affordable higher education, reproductive rights, and climate change, among others, are globally important, nonpartisan issues that impact peoples’ daily lives – and we can have an impact on these issues by standing up for what we believe in through our votes this November. 

I am spending my time this summer and fall mobilizing my peers on campus and in my community to vote so that we may concentrate on the most important matters at hand. We’ll be examining the platforms and policies of the candidates running in the November election and we’ll choose the candidates who will support these same ideals.

I RISE because I know if I stay silent, someone else will speak up for me, and I cannot – WILL not – allow them to do that!

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