By Amber Hunsicker, Freeform Editor
Michael Alberto, Assistant Freeform Editor
During the 2020 presidential election season, I had the opportunity to work with the organization Rise, which hires college students to help organize different campaigns throughout the country.
These campaigns are focused on college reforms, including eliminating tuition costs, expanding financial aid and helping end both homelessness and student hunger. Additionally, voters’ rights are also at the center of many of their campaigns, which is how I became involved with the organization.
As a Pennsylvania Organizing Fellow for the central PA region, it was my responsibility to hire between 10-15 fellow students and work with the team to organize and register youth voters to increase the youth voter turnout for the election. Between September and November of 2020, the 2020 team was formed and continued to work hard towards their goal.
Supporting the idea that others vote and trying to encourage others to use their voice by voting is essential in this position. The second most important skill was being able to communicate and collaborate. Due to the pandemic, there were changes involved, including how we reached out to the public.
For the 2020 presidential campaign, the employees of Rise reached out to youth voters through social media outlets and also found ways to make voting simpler for youth voters through Rise Vote, a platform they created.
Risefree.org states,“In 2020, we mobilized more than 100,000+ college students and young voters in key battleground districts and states including in California, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin..”
Rise works hard to increase the number of youth voters in Pennsylvania, raise awareness about voting, encourage the youth to vote, provide resources for information on candidates, provide sources to vote, provide opportunities for youth activists to get involved and to teach networking as well as hard and soft skills.
Rise has already begun picking their 2021 fellows, so if you’re interested, here is their website for more information.