Students from Colonel Richardson High School and North Caroline High School traveled with Caroline County Next Generation Scholars Coordinator Morgan Cox to Goucher College in Baltimore to attend the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education’s third annual Youth Congress Day. They were among more than 100 students invited from high schools across Maryland to participate in the day.
Colonel Richardson student Shelbi Briggs serves as an MBRT Student Ambassador. MBRT Student Ambassadors and members of Goucher’s award-winning student-led Voter Mobilization Team kicked off the day teaching Maryland students the truth about voting. Using curriculum from Rock the Vote, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization dedicated to building the political power of young people, Youth Congress Day participants focused on dispelling common voting myths, understanding the effects of voter misinformation and learning how to register to vote. Eligible students were also able to register on site.
The day continued with discussions on policy topics of interest led by Student Ambassadors. Issues included representation of women and minorities in STEM, changing the voting age to 16, mental health, and the cost of and access to higher education. Later that afternoon, students presented their position as well as a call to action on each issue during MBRT’s Annual Meeting in Goucher’s Ungar Athenaeum in front of Maryland employers, educators, elected officials and those running for office.
“I’ve been passionate about politics and local change for a few years now and it’s very important for me to come to Youth Congress Day to help others learn how to vote and how to make a change,” said Shelbi Briggs, a senior at Colonel Richardson High School and MBRT Student Ambassador. “My favorite part of the day was learning about the minorities who stepped into roles in the Maryland General Assembly and really helped make a change and set the path for other people to step into these roles.”
In addition, a representative from the Maryland Visitors Bureau led students on a virtual tour of Maryland’s State Capitol and provided an overview of the legislative process. Students also learned how to get involved through the student page program, internships and scholarships.
“Civic engagement is a cornerstone to our democracy, and now more than ever it’s critical for our youth to learn about the legislative process and be inspired to become active citizens in their communities,” said Brian Dulay, executive director of MBRT. “The goal for our 2022 Youth Congress Day was for students to return to their homes and schools knowing their voice matters and learn how they can amplify it to make it count, especially in an election year.”
“With Goucher College’s longstanding commitment to civic engagement and public policy, we were excited to welcome MBRT and high school students from throughout Maryland to this Youth Congress Day,” said Goucher College President Kent Devereaux. “We’re proud of the fact that the Goucher College student voting rate is higher than the national average. By partnering with MBRT, we look forward to engaging with young people earlier so they can actively participate in strengthening our democracy.”
The Maryland Business Roundtable for Education (MBRT), a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping high school students graduate ready for college and career, held its third annual Youth Congress Day on Thursday, September 8, 2022, 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at Goucher College. Goucher is recognized as an ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge gold seal winner for its commitment to increasing college student voting rates and had a 74% student participation rate in the 2020 elections. More than 100 students were invited from high schools across Maryland to learn the truth about voting, take a virtual tour of Maryland’s State Capitol and advocate for policy changes on issues that matter to them. State gubernatorial candidates Delegate Dan Cox and Mr. Wes Moore were among invited participants serving as active listeners.
Since 1992, MBRT has been connecting the business community with local schools through its Maryland Scholars Speakers Bureau and STEM Specialists in the Classroom programs. In 2017, MBRT added the Next Generation Scholars program, which provides funding through the Howard P. Rawlings Maryland Guaranteed Access Grant, administered by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC), to enhance education and career awareness as well as college completion for high school students with a demonstrated financial need. The Guaranteed Access Grant provides an award that will help cover the cost of full-time study at a Maryland college or university for low-income families.
About Maryland Business Roundtable for Education
Founded in 1992, the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education (MBRT) is a nonprofit coalition of leading employers that have made a long-term commitment to support education reform and improve student achievement in Maryland. MBRT is the catalyst for business, government and education to drive high student achievement that ensures a competitive future workforce for a world-class economy. For more information, please visit http://www.mbrt.org/.
About Goucher College
Named one of the best national colleges and most innovative institutions in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Goucher College is also recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the best colleges in America and a leader in global education and study abroad. Located in Baltimore, Maryland, Goucher is a private liberal arts college dedicated to teaching students to be complex problem solvers who are prepared for the jobs of the future. A Goucher education focuses on creating lifelong learners through an interdisciplinary, global education that requires 100% of students to study abroad. For more information, please visit www.goucher.edu and follow @GoucherCollege on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.