Participation is essential to an effective democracy. However, when recent figures show that only around 60% of eligible voters turn out to the polls to fill our White House every four years -- with numbers that are far lower for midterms and regional elections -- it's clear that our country has a serious problem with civic engagement.
Research shows that this issue starts with our youth, that when young people aren't engaged in the political system, it leads to a new generation of American voters that ... well ... don't vote. Many are quick to claim that "kids just simply aren't interested in politics," but as youth ourselves who have time and time again witnessed the dissatisfaction with our nation's political state amongst our peers, we know that's not true. The problem lies not in a political disengagement among young people, but general lack of available opportunities for us to engage with the system.
That's where STAND comes in. We design creative solutions to encourage youth to re-engage with the civic process.
STAND was founded in early 2018 by a group of high school students in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania invested in a simple premise: the capability of youth to spur civic engagement in our own circles. If we pull one another up by our bootstraps and create our own opportunities to engage with the system, we take the first step towards creating a more politically aware and active generation for the future. It's never been more important. Tomorrow's America will thank us.