Anna Hand, a Political Science major at Fort Hays State University, is a committed and engaged civic leader. She is an active volunteer with the Starkey Hearing Foundation and FHSU's Herndon Speech and Hearing Clinic. During her freshmen and sophomore years, she also volunteered on service-trips to Peru, Costa Rica and Australia. Ms. Hand has also been very active politically throughout the state of Kansas. She was part of a student team who successfully lobbied for the Lifeline 911 legislation that passed the Kansas Legislature this spring. Her political work also includes being the current president of the state-wide Kansas Young Democrats. As a past student coordinator of our American Democracy Project, Anna organized many voter registration drives and the popular "Ride to the Polls" program. Finally, last summer Ms. Hand participated in an internship experience with the Y-Generation Against Poverty in Melbourne, Australia. Here, she worked to help fund social entrepreneurs across the globe.
Since I was little, my parents taught me that helping others and being involved is an important attribute to a person's life. Civic engagement has always been second nature to me and Fort Hays State University has given me the opportunity to carry this on through my college career. I am honored to be nominated for the Newman Civic Fellowship and I believe that my actions reflect what it means to be a fellow.
I have always been passionate about the political aspect of being civically engaged. I am proud to have worked at the American Democracy Project and FHSU's Center for Civic Leadership. I have spent countless hours registering voters at Fort Hays and ensuring that students are able to exercise their right to vote. It is important to me that all people understand that they have the power to enact change and that they have the knowledge as well as the ability to do this. I have held voter registration drives, candidate forums, debate watch parties and even "Rides to the Polls" events on Election Day. As I continue to pursue my career in politics, I have had the opportunity to volunteer with numerous campaigns across Kansas and the U.S. These campaigns ask me to perform student outreach and encourage millennials to become active in the election process. This has not always been easy, but it has been rewarding to see other students realize that they can make a difference in the world just by casting a ballot.