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Governor’s Civic Engagement Award Program Grows in Second Year

May 01, 2019 12:00 PM
By: Tiffany Chang Lawson, Director of the Bureau of Campaign Finance & Civic Engagement

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The Governor's Civic Engagement Award (GCEA) program just completed a successful second year.  We surpassed last year's figures in the number of Pennsylvania high schools participating and in the total of eligible students registered to vote

Twenty-three schools across the commonwealth won awards for registering to vote 2,955 eligible students. Fourteen of those schools won Gold Level Awards for registering 85 percent or more of their eligible students. 

Nine schools won Silver Level Awards for registering at least 65 percent of their eligible students. Eight students won individual awards, new this year, for registering their peers and also serving as poll workers for the November 2018 election.  Visit our website for a list of this year's winners.

All 63 schools that participated in this year's GCEA program registered to vote a total of 3,109 eligible students. That's quite an impressive accomplishment. 

Students are eligible to register if they are 18 years of age or will turn 18 on or before the date of the next primary, special, municipal or general election.

The GCEA is presented by the Pennsylvania Departments of State and Education and the Governor's Office, in collaboration with Inspire U.S., a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that trains and assists students working to increase voter participation. 

The award encourages eligible Pennsylvania high school students to participate in elections as voter registration drive organizers, voters and poll workers. 

This year's Gold and Silver Level schools and individual award-winners will be honored at three regional recognition events:

  • The first event, for 10 high schools in central and northeast Pennsylvania, was held April 29 at the State Museum in Harrisburg.

  • The second event, for seven high schools and two individual award-winners in southeast Pennsylvania, will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. May 2 in the Science Center Theater at Montgomery County Community College's Central Campus in Blue Bell.

  • The third event, for six high schools and six individual award-winners in southwest Pennsylvania, will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. May 7 in the William Pitt Union at the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh.

Congratulations to all the winners. 

The youth of today are our future leaders, and we need to include their voices in our democracy.  Our hope at the department is to see young Pennsylvanians actively engaged in their schools and communities and the issues that affect their everyday lives. 

As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "Voting is the foundation for political action."

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