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Towson

Youth Congress Day held at Goucher College

The Maryland Business Roundtable for Education held its third-annual Youth Congress Day on Sept. 8 at Goucher College. Around 100 high school students from Baltimore City and Allegany, Caroline, Dorchester, Howard, Kent, Montgomery, Prince George’s and Wicomico counties participated.

The program is designed to teach students about the legislative process, dispel common voting myths and inspire students to become active citizens in their communities. Sessions focused on learning the truth about voting, identifying voter misinformation and learning how to register to vote using curriculum from Rock the Vote. Eligible students were able to register to vote on-site.

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Participants took a virtual tour of Maryland’s State Capitol and learned how they can get involved in the General Assembly’s student page program, internships and scholarships.

Members of Goucher’s award-winning Voter Mobilization Team and Nina Kasniunas, Goucher College associate professor of political science and director of Goucher Votes, led the students in an exercise during which the students learned how to advocate for policy changes on issues that matter to them.

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They also learned how to present their positions and calls to action on issues such as representation of women and minorities in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), changing the voting age to 16, mental health, and the cost of and access to higher education. The students presented their calls to action during the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education’s annual meeting, held that afternoon.

Guest speakers included Kent Devereux, president of Goucher College; MBRT Board Chair Regina Schofield from Battelle; and MBRT Executive Director Brian Dulay.

Gordana Schifanelli, Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, also attended. Her running mate, Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Cox, and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore, were invited but didn’t attend. Schifanelli tweeted that she was “honored” to attend the event.

Founded in 1992, the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education is a nonprofit coalition of leading employers that have made a long-term commitment to support education reform and improve student achievement in Maryland. MBRT connects the business community with local schools through its Maryland Scholars Speakers Bureau, STEM Specialists in the Classroom and Next Generation Scholars programs.

Its Next Generation Scholars program provides funding through the Howard P. Rawlings Maryland Guaranteed Access Grant to enhance education and career awareness as well as college completion for high school students with a demonstrated financial need. The Guaranteed Access Grant provides an award that will help cover the cost of full-time study at a Maryland college or university for low-income families.

Tchouankey Xerco, left, and Diego Umana, tenth graders at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, hold up “immigrant” issue cards, randomly given to the participants at the Youth Congress Day, as part of an exercise to demonstrate how non-participation impacts critical issues. They were among about 100 Maryland students attending the third annual Youth Congress Day, sponsored by the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education, in partnership with Goucher College.
Hamid Shabbir, a senior at Mt. Hebron High School and one of the Student Ambassadors for Maryland Business Roundtable for Education, leads a discussion group on voting myths at Youth Congress Day. About 100 high school students from around the state participated in the third annual Youth Congress Day, sponsored by MBRT in partnership with Goucher College.
Dr. Nina Kasniunas, associate professor of political science, discusses voting issues and encourages students who are 18 to register to vote by texting DEMOCRACY to 788-683. About 100 high school students from around the state participate in the third annual Youth Congress Day, sponsored by the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education, in partnership with Goucher College.
Adahne Hemp, a member of Goucher College’s Voter Mobilization Team, left, and Gianna Athavale, a senior at Mt. Hebron High School and one of the Student Ambassadors for Maryland Business Roundtable for Education, leads a discussion group on voting myths at Youth Congress Day. About 100 high school students from around the state participated in the third annual Youth Congress Day, sponsored by MBRT in partnership with Goucher College.
From left, Kendall Saffron, her cousin Logan Saffron, and Breona Johnson, all seniors at Benjamin Franklin High School in Brooklyn (Baltimore City), participate in a small group session on voting issues during the third annual Youth Congress Day, sponsored by the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education, in partnership with Goucher College.
Juelz Costello, front, and Jonathan Torres, both seniors at Benjamin Franklin High School in Brooklyn (Baltimore City), listen to a discussion on voting myths and voter misinformation. About 100 high school students from around the state participated in the third annual Youth Congress Day, sponsored by the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education, in partnership with Goucher College.
About 100 high school students from around the state participate in the third annual Youth Congress Day, sponsored by the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education, in partnership with Goucher College. Brian Dulay, executive director of MBRT, said “Civic engagement is a cornerstone to our democracy.” The goal is “for students to return to their homes and schools knowing that their voice matters and learn how they can amplify it to make it count.”
Brian Dulay, executive director of Maryland Business Roundtable for Education, at the third annual Youth Congress Day, sponsored by MBRT in partnership with Goucher College.
Gordana Schifanelli, running for Lieutenant Governor on the Republican ticket with Maryland Del. Dan Cox, during a visit to Towson. She is an attorney from Queen Anne’s County.

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