Stephanie Turcios is a third-year student at University of Mary Washington studying political science. Stephanie is active in several causes related to community and civic engagement. She is a student leader promoting student voter registration and mobilization on campus, and served as a Voting Ambassador with the Center for Community Engagement during fall 2019. As a Voting Ambassador, she helped organize a celebration of National Voter Registration Day, generated educational resources for student voters, and coordinated rides to the polls on Election Day. Stephanie is also active in several student organizations on campus including Students Helping Honduras, a national non-profit organization started at UMW in 2007. She traveled to Honduras in 2019 to assist with building schools and helping advance their mission to alleviate gang violence and poverty through youth empowerment and education.
For as long as I can remember, helping others has been a priority in my life. As I have progressed through my college career I have learned about the importance of voting and how many individuals are disenfranchised in their right to vote. Especially in minority groups, voter turnout rates are not as high as they should be. The more people who vote, the better chance of having an accurate representation of the population. Through research done on the topic of voter disenfranchisement, I strive to identify these barriers and find solutions that led to a more accurate and representational government of the people. From a firsthand experience, I know the real struggles that minority groups face when participating in civic affairs. Voting should not be a frightening or trivial matter, but one to be celebrated.