High School students leading the Voter Mobilization Initiative (VMI) through the Student Action Committee (SAC) were featured yesterday in The Washington Post for their efforts to secure commitments from area students to serve as poll workers on Election Day. The GDS High School shifted the weekly schedule so that students would have November 3 as their flex day (normally on Wednesday), allowing them to serve as poll workers and get out the vote in other meaningful ways, even as they are too young to cast their own ballots. Senior Anoushka Chander (who founded the VMI with junior Maddie Feldman) and senior Will Olsen, according to The Post’s reporting, have signed up a few hundred students already, including many from GDS.
Meanwhile, the voter education subcommittee of VMI has recently turned their attention even younger as they work to strengthen the foundation of engaged citizenship in our community. Anoushka, Maddie, Ella Farr ’21, and Nolan Sheridan ’21 visited 8th grade history classes earlier this month to talk to the students about how they can be involved. The conversations ranged from historical (and current) voter suppression tactics, how to find groups aligned with their passion for activism, and how they can already help get out the vote through letter-writing campaigns. Thanks to their leadership, the ongoing support of Leigh Tait (interim director of community engagement and experiential learning, who oversees the activities of the SAC and VMI), and our 8th grade history teachers Perry Degener and Rachel Johnson for hosting. We look forward to seeing the current 8th graders take up advocacy and activism work this year in their 8th grade curriculum and in the years to come beyond the classroom.