Carson Ball is a University of Oklahoma sophomore majoring in Political Science and Native American Studies with a concentration in Tribal Governance and Policy. Last summer Carson served as the Indian Affairs Intern for United States Senator James Lankford. Carson is a Carl Albert Center Civic Engagement Fellow where he helped coordinate an unprecedented voter registration drive on OU's campus, registering 685 students. The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education recognized the Fellows for their efforts in winning the Campus Compact Voter Registration Drive. The Fellows also partnered with RISE to Vote in a nonpartisan effort to register professional and college athletes to vote, and the Oklahoma City Thunder to register the players, staff, and fans. Based on their work, OU was recognized as one of "the best colleges for student voting," by Washington Monthly. Carson advocates for education equity and is the co-founder and chair of the Miracle Mindset Empowerment and Leadership Summit that serves high school freshmen with the purpose of eliminating the achievement gap and persistent disparity of educational resources, information, and opportunities among at-risk youth from low-income backgrounds by providing students with the essential tools and encouragement needed to be successful in high school and beyond.
I first became involved in promoting education equity when I served Oklahomans on Superintendent Hofmeister's Student Advisory Board. Through this experience, I realized the inequities facing our state's educational system, and I was determined to improve them. Since I have gotten older, my experience with issues surrounding education has grown exponentially. I have interned for Senator James Lankford as his Senate of Indian Affairs Correspondent and at the Oklahoma Department of Education as the governmental affairs intern-where I analyze and research education-based legislation. Both of these opportunities allowed me to get an in-depth view of how our government is structured. On campus, I became a democracy coach for Generation Citizen and began educating high school students how to participate and engage in democracy. This organization was a catalyst in inspiring me to co-create a program called Miracle Mindset, which aims to eliminate the disparity gap amongst students who attend socioeconomic and geographically disadvantaged schools by reducing the achievement gap and persistent disparity of educational resources, information, and opportunities. Through continued involvement on and off campus, I believe I can help improve the education equity in Oklahoma one step at a time.