Kennedy Students Holding Voter Registration & Drive-Thru Food Truck Event
SEPTEMBER 24, 2020 – On Saturday Oct. 3, the members of the Student Government Association at John F. Kennedy High are encouraging people throughout the community to register to vote by offering them a free lunch.
“It’s open to everyone,” Sara Freeman Church, the Kennedy teacher who serves as advisor for the Student Government Association.
From noon to 2 p.m., students are holding their Voter Registration & Food Truck Drive-Thru Event in front of the school. When people pull up to the first station, they can register to vote on the spot or pick up the materials to register later.
“They can choose how they want to do it,” Church said.
Student Mirtha Medel-Crispin said: "I think voting is important because that's the whole point of America, to be a democracy, to be ruled by the people. I think people have forgotten that and people have stopped caring about voting. It's time to come together and change the society."
People will then drive on to one of three food trucks. Depending on which one they choose, they can enjoy a lunch of hot dogs, barbecue, pizza, burritos or tacos. Everyone in the vehicle will receive lunch. The Kennedy students expect to be able to provide 250 to 300 meals.
They are paying for the food truck meals with $3,000 of the $5,000 the school received last spring by being one of 20 winners in a national competition sponsored by the When We All Vote organization in partnership with MTV. Another $1,000 will be used for T-shirts, decorations and supplies, and the final $1,000 will be used for later projects.
Church said she is looking forward to the event.
“I’m excited,” she said, “because I think it’s really important for our young people to get involved in the democratic process.”
“The kids are really setting themselves up as role models for the community.”
It’s one thing, she said, for teachers and other adults to encourage young people to vote and quite another when they see their fellow students be enthusiastic about the importance of voting.
Twelve members of the Student Government Association are expected at the event. Here's what some of them had to say:
Jessica Martone: "I think voting is important because it's our voice, our future, our life. Us voting can make a difference.” She added that she is both nervous and excited about the drive-thru event.
Ashley Barrios-Hernandez: "Every nation wants a change. By voting we can create a change!"
Daniel Salas-Itehua: "Be part of the change by voting."
Danalla Dearmon: "Voting is important because it gives a voice to the voiceless. It gives you an opportunity to elect representatives that have the same principles you stand for."
Sania Kelly: "I think voting is important because it's a chance to give people who live in our country a voice. As an African American woman, we fought hard to obtain this right, so why not use it? Were all a community, some of us can't vote yet so make the decision to vote!"
Ashanti Castillo: "Voting is important to me because it allows me to have a say in how this country is governed."
Participating in the contest that led to the SGA winning the $5,000 was an exciting process for students. Four of them had the opportunity to talk with Michelle Obama on a Zoom call. To read the story about national competition, go to Michelle Obama.
Church teaches U.S. History at Kennedy. Teaching students remotely has been a challenge, she said, and it has required working longer hours than when students are coming to the building.
She has seen some benefits for students, though.
Many of her students are helping to take care of younger siblings, and some are working outside the home to help pay bills for the household.
The flexibility that remote learning gives them has helped with all of that, she said.