Santiago Mendoza (S’12):
For about two months I worked as an organizer with NextGen America, a progressive youth voter outreach organization, on their Maine field team. We mainly worked on youth Get Out the Vote efforts, voter registration, and coordinating voter turnout through phone and text banking. It was a very SEGL-involved experience considering we had five SEGL alums on staff and a weekly phone bank where I made calls to Maine voters with some of my semester-mates. To me it was not surprising to have so many SEGLettes involved in this work considering it aligns exactly with SEGL’s mission. Creating positive change in our country, in small part, is going to involve young people voicing their opinion at the ballot box. It was fulfilling to be able to directly work in getting young people involved and registered to vote.
Pictured above – *Santiago with his partner Rachel (also a SEGL Spring ’12 alum). Santiago Mendoza (S’12) is a Rainier Scholar and a graduate of George Washington University, where he earned a BA in International Affairs. He has previously worked as a research assistant at the National Security Archive and was an SEGL residential advisor and intern from 2014-2015. This fall he worked as a field organizer for NextGen America, managing a team of over fifty volunteers and developing partnerships with community organizations and student groups across Maine.
Peter Beck (F’19):
After working for the Charleston County Election Commission to help process absentee mail-in-ballots during several elections, I knew that the influx of ballots during the 2020 Presidential election would be unprecedented. So, I organized over forty students from six different high schools across the Charleston area to help the Election Commission. Despite having more mail-in-ballot than in-person voting, working arduous hours over three days, they were able to sort the record-breaking amount of mail-in-ballots before South Carolina’s polls closed.
Peter Beck (F’19) is a senior at Porter-Gaud School in Charleston, SC. He serves as Chair of Porter-Gaud’s Honor Council and sits on the Charleston Mayoral Youth Commission and the Citizen’s Police Advisory Council. Peter plans to study government in college and hopes to pursue a career in law in the future.
Meirav Solomon (S’20):
Deciding to be a poll worker on November 3rd, 2020 was one of the best decisions of my life (next to attending SEGL Spring 2020 in DC). This historic election, on the heels of my SEGL experience was the perfect moment to exercise my willingness to serve and support the democratic process of our country. Even though I thought I knew everything I needed to do my job on election day, nothing could have prepared me for the sheer excitement of being part of our country’s unique democratic process, especially during COVID-19. I woke up at 5 AM on Nov. 3rd to drive to the polls and meet my fellow poll workers at our election site. From 7:30 AM to about 8 PM, I was working the ballot table; my job was to scan each ballot and ATV (authorization to vote) form and then give the voters their ballots so that they could head to the booths and vote. I was the last person they spoke to before fulfilling their civic duty to the United States. Many people had voted early or mailed in their ballots so our election site only serviced about 300 voters. At 9:30 PM when I left, I was incredibly exhausted, but I was also equally eager to do it all over again. Poll working this year was tiring, stressful, and a little bit risky given COVID-19 but I would do it all over again to make sure that those 300 voters could successfully cast their ballots.
Meirav Solomon (S’20) is a senior at Cary Academy in Cary, NC. She is a Dialogue Facilitator for Essential Partners, a non-profit aimed at building understanding and trust through dialogue, and serves as Director of Dialogue at Cary Academy. She plans to study political science, international relations, and economics in college and hopes to pursue a career in politics.
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