CYPRESS — This summer, filled with unprecedented change for adults and students alike, a group of CFISD students who are too young to vote, created an impact by volunteering in 2020 election campaigns.
Cypress Woods High School juniors Grace Carmichael, Sydney Cannon, Meagan Livingston and Sam Nichols, along with Cy-Fair High School junior Constance White worked through hundreds of phone numbers calling on Texans to vote.
Generation Z, the generation that Carmichael, Cannon, Livingston, Nichols and White belong to, is recognized for their ability to transform an idea into a movement. These digital-savvy students use technology to inspire others, create change, and in some unique cases, invent new careers as influencers.
Carmichael, a member of the Cypress Woods varsity soccer team, would normally be on the pitch or traveling during the summer, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, things changed. Finding herself home all summer, Carmichael tracked current events, read the news each day and started implementing small changes in her own behaviors. She eagerly sought out conversations with anyone willing to discuss current events. By July, these small actions weren’t quite enough, so Carmichael leaned in and joined a 2020 election campaign, recruiting her fellow soccer friends to join her.
For some, working on a campaign is about winning the election. For these students, it was about learning how to drive change and finding a voice when they cannot cast a vote.
Working on the campaign, leaders hosted weekly Zoom meetings where organizers addressed priorities, goals and accomplishments followed by a keynote guest speaker. Keynote speakers ranged from current U.S. congressional representatives to a former assistant secretary at the Department of Energy. Their candid conversations and insight on current events, government and how to get involved brought insight to the group.
Female members of the campaign team were also invited to participate in a separate meeting each week called, “Women in the Workplace.” During these sessions, women representing seats in the Texas House, as well as campaign managers, lawyers and more talked through their experiences, leadership opportunities and answered questions to help Carmichael and her peers establish plans of their own.
So, it all comes down to this–Nov 3. Election Day.
But, for the students, what’s next? It’s not all black and white. The students who worked on the campaign trail this summer earned a stamp in their passport to adulthood. These young women are more knowledgeable about the candidates, polls and the election process heading into the future.