Bryan Gonzalez-Mejia, a third year student at Stockton University, is a student leader active in addressing underrepresented groups in governmental systems. He has worked closely with the Political Engagement Project, an initiative of our American Democracy Project on campus getting more student leaders involved with civic engagement activities and community service to his campus via Model UN and Student Senate. He is currently working on developing programs to engage youth in the community and educating them on how to make a difference by empowering them to understand how decisions are made in the government.
The youth has been one of the most underrepresented groups in our government. Ironically, government officials make decisions on behalf of, and for the future of young Americans. As a young American, I've taken this systematic issue to heart. Ever since the 2016 presidential election, my involvement in politics has dramatically increased. I have become involved with clubs and organizations at my university; such organizations have provided me with the necessary tools to raise awareness about the lack of representation, and low voter turnout among young Americans. An organization, the Political Engagement Project, listened to my concerns and ideas to tackle this issue. Some of the programs implemented within this organization range from registering students to vote, to even holding workshops to spread awareness on how to contact your congressional representatives. These events are unfortunately for the most part limited to students; the next step would be bringing these programs into the local communities, counties, and eventually across the nation to empower the youth. This empowerment is imperative for the future of the country, because the future state of the country is being shaped by the decisions made in the government. One's government must be the reflection of the people.