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    Archive for the
    ‘young activists’ Category



    How One Rocker Is Bringing Her Community Together

    Friday, November 15th, 2013

    Every now and again, we catch word of Rock the Vote supporters doing awesome work in their own communities, and it’s no surprise! With a network of so many incredible young activists, it’s hard to keep track of all the lives you guys are changing. Really, you make us proud (and you also make us look good when we say things like “young people are changing the world”).

    So when we heard about Moriah Six, we knew we had to share. Moriah is a Rock the Vote Community Street Team leader and a student at Johnson & Wales University. She is raising money to pay hospital bills for Gwendelyn, a toddler fighting childhood cancer. And how is she doing that? Well, we’ll let her tell you herself.

    1. So Moriah, how did you first get involved with Rock the Vote?

    I am an Entertainment Event Management major and was looking for ways to get involved with events while helping out a great cause. Since I interned for Headcount I also was introduced to Rock The Vote. I took a look at the great volunteer opportunities and decided to get involved. I volunteered at multiple events over the summer(Warped Tour, The Killers etc). And plan on continuing to volunteer.

    2. How are you planning to support Gwendelyn and her family?

    Gwennie is a 20 month old who is fighting childhood cancer. She was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma in April 2013. She is stage 3 and at High Risk. Gwennie is currently undergoing chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, surgery, radiation and immunotherapy. She travels to Robert Wood Johnson and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for her treatments.

    I am organizing a benefit concert here in Asbury Park, NJ, and all ticket proceeds from this concert event will go directly to the Marra family. As Gwendelyn fights the cancer she is continuously supported by her family and friends. All ticket proceeds will be going directly to the Marra Family.

    3. What are some words of inspiration that you would share with Rock the Vote supporters?

    I have known the Marra family for many years and have babysat for the family. Gwennie is the youngest and has maintained that bright smile throughout all of her treatment. Since her chance of infection is so high Gwennie looks forward to “hanging out” with her brother and sister via Skype. We are looking forward to the day that she will be cancer free so she can play with her siblings and friends like a normal little kid.

    Moriah can be reached at MLS094@wildcats.jwu.edu. Here are the details for the benefit concert. If you live in or near NJ, please support Moriah and Gwendelyn!

    Date: Saturday, November 30, 2013
    Time: 1-5 PM
    Tickets: $10 Advance /$12 Day of Show
    Venue: The Saint (Asbury Park, NJ)
    601 Main St Asbury Park, NJ 07712
    Buy Tickets Here

    Line Up: The New Royalty (Headliner)
    Lost In Society
    Monterey
    Ardvark Smile

    austin@rockthevote.com
    Bio:
    @austin_estes
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    Meet Carina

    Friday, October 25th, 2013

    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.

    austin@rockthevote.com
    Bio:
    @austin_estes
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    Meet Summer

    Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

    What’s the coolest job you can think of? Flight attendant? National Geographic photographer? How about Voter Advocate?

    Rock the Vote — in partnership with the Campus Election Engagement Project — has recruited a team of fellows across Virginia that are working on college campuses to register voters and educate their peers about the upcoming Virginia gubernatorial election. It’s the dream, I know.

    The media have us pegged as lazy, self-centered punks who can’t care about politics — but that’s only because they haven’t met any of our fellows. These fellows are the best of the best. They’re smart, they’re dedicated, they’re passionate, and we love them like family. Over the next few weeks we’re going to highlight some of our fellows and take a few minutes to brag about how cool they are.

    So why don’t we start by introducing you to Summer?

    • 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 Summer Gupta, most know me as Summer Siddiqui. I am from Woodbridge, Virginia. I go to Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia , and I am a sophomore. My major is Political Science and my Minor is International Studies.

    • How did you first get involved with Rock the Vote?

    My best friend told me about it, she saw an email from Rock The Vote and the CEEP. She said she thought it was something I would be interested in so I took a look at the program and loved it so I applied to it!

    • Tell us a little bit about your work as a Rock the Vote fellow. What have you been doing to register voters? Do you have any cool stories to share?

    I have been setting up tabling events, doing class raps, canvassing, and a lot of visibility activities to get Rock The Vote’s name out there. My team and I have gotten several people to register and pledge. We are having a big Halloween party for those have volunteered, registered, or pledged with us here at Old Dominion University. It has been a pleasure working with Rock the Vote at our campus. We have several wonderful volunteers and professors who are engaging and stressing the importance of Voting.

    • Tell us something inspiring about yourself

    I have came along way in my life, with the support my two very amazing parents. they have been my role models, my motivation, and my strength for the past 19 years. I am who I am today because of my parents. My mother has a political and Law based background, I am following her footsteps. I wish to become a very successful political figure in the United States of America.

    • Name one person who you think is changing the world

    I cannot name one person, I believe that there are several people who are taking the stand and changing the world for the better in several different ways.

    • What is the most embarrassing concert you’ve ever been to?

    I took my little cousin to go watch the Sesame Street concert last year, and I knew every word to every song..that was probably the most embarrassing. 

    • Do you have any unique talents?

    I have major stage fright but when it comes to Indian dance, I forget anyone is watching and just do what I want. It is my ultimate stress reliever and it makes me really happy and feel positive about everything.

    • If you had the attention of the entire population of American youth for 15 seconds, what would you say?

    Do not take your life for granted, make something big out of yourselves. Education is the most beautiful gift you can give yourself. Do something with your life by giving others what they don’t have in their lives. Love, Respect, and Treasure your family, And most importantly, exercise every right you are given.

    austin@rockthevote.com
    Bio:
    @austin_estes
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    Victory for Students in North Carolina!

    Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

    September 3, 2013

     

     

    Statement by Amanda Brown, Political Director, Rock the Vote

     

    We would first like to thank Montravias King for his brave and honorable commitment to his community and our country.  He has answered the call to citizenship by voting regularly on Election Day, by volunteering in his community, by running for City Council, and now by speaking out when our freedoms as young Americans are threatened.  He is a role model for us all.

    When this young man and student of Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina, bravely decided to run for City Council in order to serve his community – the one he has lived in since 2009, the place he calls home – heshould havelives in a dorm on campus.  He challenged the County, and won.

    This ruling in favor of Montravias King by the State Board of Elections is a real victory for our democracy, and student voting rights everywhere.

    Today we celebrate this victory. 

    As we celebrate, however, we are also vigilant.  This case was a blatant attempt to keep a student from exercising his fundamental rights.  And it was particularly outrageous given the fact that the United States Supreme Court has upheld the rights of students to vote where they go to college, and the state of North Carolina has a statute reinforcing this right for students to vote at their campus address.

    We hope this decision today serves as a lesson that Rock the Vote, our allies, and students everywhere will not be silenced.  Hear our message loud and clear:  no politician can get away with this.  Not in Pasquotank County. Not in any other North Carolina county. Not anywhere!  Any attempt to penalize a young person for being a student by revoking their right to participate in our democracy is unacceptable and un-American and will not stand.

    We say congratulations and thank you to Montravias and to all of the students who came out today. 

    About Rock the Vote

    Rock the Vote’s mission is to engage and build political power for young people in our country.  Founded twenty-two years ago at the intersection of popular culture and politics, Rock the Vote has registered more than five million young people to vote and has become a trusted source of information for young people about registering to vote and casting a ballot.  We use music, popular culture, new technologies and grassroots organizing to motivate and mobilize young people in our country to participate in every election, with the goal of seizing the power of the youth vote to create political and social change.
    .

    Rock the Vote
    Bio: Rock the Vote was founded in 1990 to organize artists and fight against censorship of musicians. Since then we've evolved to focus on empowering young people to get involved in the political process. We use pop culture, peer-to-peer organizing, and the latest technology to raise visibility of politics and demystify the process of registering to vote.
    @rockthevote
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com