We’re currently obsessed with Carina. She’s a first generation student at Old Dominion University and one of our esteemed Fellows working to Get Out the Vote in Virginia! If you’ve lost faith in the Millennial generation, it’s only because you haven’t met Carina yet. Shall we introduce you?
- Give us a little background. Who are you? Where did you come from? Where do you go to college? What are you studying?
My name is Carina Wicker. I’m was born in Norfolk, Virginia, but raised in Lynchburg, Virginia. I am a proud representative from both locations. Lynchburg and Norfolk have both made me who I am today. Right now I am a sophomore at Old Dominion University double majoring in Political Science and International Studies.
- How did you first get involved with Rock the Vote?
I got involved with Rock the Vote because I am currently the Director of Legislative and Diversity Affairs for the Student Government Association at Old Dominion University. Sam Menefee-Libey contacted me, and told me about Rock the Vote because of the work I have done in Student Government. I was incredibly excited about the opportunity because Rock the Vote sounded exactly what I was passionate about.
- Tell us a little bit about your work as a RTV/CEEP fellow. What have you been doing to register voters? Do you have any cool stories to share?
As a RTV/CEEP fellow my main goal was to always inform the students about the true significance of voting. My co-fellow and I have worked endlessly with emails and tabling. We have tabled in the Old Dominion Student Union Center, or Webb Center, and grabbed students’ attention if only for five seconds to tell them about the power they could potentially have if they voted. We have reached out to different organizations and first year students to make sure all of them were ready for the Election Day. We had the awesome opportunity to work for the Lieutenant Governor Candidate Debate at Old Dominion. There we were recognized during the debate and then recognized by different news channels that recorded the debate. In my opinion, if I had gotten only one person registered or helped one person see how powerful their voice is, I feel like that is a successful run.
- Tell us something inspiring about yourself
Something inspiring about myself… Well, I am a first generation college student. I barely got any financial aid, and most defiantly did not have money coming out of pocket for school. I did not receive much help going towards college, so I completely relied on myself and God. I work two jobs, I have this fellowship, and I am a proud director of the Legislative and Diversity Committee at Old Dominion’s Student Government Association. I also work with Virginia 21, an organization where I represent the voice of students my age to leaders in government. Not to mention I am a full-time, double major student. I feel like opportunities only come when you are willing to work hard for it. I do not take no for an answer, and there are no such things as excuses, only solutions. My favorite quote that motivates me is “If you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe then you will be successful.” -Eric Thomas. In life I want to inspire people to keep going forward, and even when you are exhausted, keep fighting. To the first generation college students who barely have any help, you can do it. Keep working and don’t allow yourself to make excuses. Do not take no for an answer, make your opportunities, and always remember that you CAN do it.
- Name one person who you think is changing the world.
I believe that my generation is persistently working to change the world. I think a lot of people have goals to make this planet a little better than it is now. Those people who dedicate hours upon hours, work vigorously, and do not take no for an answer for their cause are the people who are changing the world.
- What is the most embarrassing concert you’ve ever been to?
I don’t think I’ve ever been to an “embarrassing” concert. I’m always so engaged in the music that even if something embarrassing happened to the performer I would not mind. My first concert was M83 then Twenty-One Pilots which both were a dream come true. I absolutely love them, and I’m actually listening to them right now as I type this. They inspire me greatly, and one day I hope to tell them both how incredible I actually think they are.
- Do you have any unique talents?
My unique talents would have to be that I can play the violin and I’m really good with a camera in my hand. I’ve played violin for nine years. The ability to make music is a blessing for me. I have shot photography for only five years, but I am passionate about it. Beauty sometimes is only a glimpse, and when I can catch that glimpse I get thrilled.
- If you had the attention of the entire population of American youth for 15 seconds, what would you say?
If I had the attention of the entire population of the American youth I would have to tell them how great life is. God gave you a great life, so live it. In life you need a passion, and when you have that passion work until you’re exhausted for it. That is when you will find happiness. Life isn’t easy, but it is worth it.
Tags: Campus Election Engagement Project, Carina Wicker, college students, election, get out the vote, Millennials, Old Dominion University, rock the vote, Rock the Vote Fellows, Virginia, virginia 2013, voter registration, youth activism