CYPRESS — Students from Cypress Lakes High School’s Lakes4Lives club were honored by the League of Women Voters of Cy-Fair (LWV—Cy-Fair) and the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) on Nov. 4 for helping promote voter participation ahead of the 2020 general election.
Lakes4Lives is a civic-engagement activism club lead by Cypress Lakes senior and Lakes4Lives president Kathleen Hoang. Hoang, along with Cypress Lakes seniors Ashley Gomez and Jocelyn Gonzalez, junior Sharon Olaifa, sophomore Paula Perez, and other Lakes4Lives students reached out to LWV—Cy-Fair to help provide adequate voter information within the Cypress Lakes community. During major election cycles, the Texas League of Women Voters offers local leagues grants for innovative ways to promote voter participation. This is the first time a local league has partnered with a high school organization for an election project.
“We applied for and received a Texas League of Women Voters grant to create 10 manganic signs for vehicles, 100 posters in English and Spanish for businesses and other areas, and 60 yard signs for apartment complexes, all with identical information,” said Marlene Lobberecht, LWV—Cy-Fair president. “Lakes4Lives’ specific project was providing election information through signage.”
Students identified 38 business locations around the Cypress Lakes community to place voter information signs.
“We realized that the most important thing was to get voters out to the polls,” Hoang said. “We wanted to collaborate with LWV—Cy-Fair because we knew they had a larger network and resources to help with what we wanted to do.”
LWV—Cy-Fair was particularly eager to work with Lakes4Lives because Texans ages 18-24 are becoming a large group of voters within the state. By the end of early voting, 1.3 million Texans under the age of 30 had cast their ballot, surpassing the total votes cast by the same age group in 2016.
CFISD Board member Tom Jackson is an active member of LWV—Cy-Fair and was invited by Lobberecht to help honor the students. Jackson, also an active member of the Sons of the American Revolution, wanted to also recognize the students through SAR for their community engagement. Jackson also underwrote student membership to LWV—Cy-Fair for active Lakes4Lives members.
During the ceremony, students were given certificates of appreciation from LWV—Cy-Fair and SAR.
“It was a privilege to work with Lakes4Lives and to help underwrite an activity with them,” Lobberecht said. “We wanted to acknowledge students participating in positive, organized civic engagement because studies show that the motivation to be an active voter and engaged community participant originates during their late teens. Involving young adults in positive civic engagement is very important in improving citizen participation within our community and their voice within the democratic process.”