How UC students are unlocking the voting power of California youth
Inspired by the 1964 Freedom Summer Project to register Black voters in the South, UC Freedom Summer began in 2018 in with 25 students from UC Santa Cruz and UC Merced doing voter outreach in the Central Valley. It now includes more than 100 students from all nine undergraduate campuses, as well as some California community colleges, fanning out to encourage civic participation in communities across California, from Visalia to Oakland and East San Jose.
Participants plan events and set registration targets aimed at potential young voters in their communities as part of a summer-long internship focused on civic engagement.
The idea: Educate youth in these communities about the importance of voting, and they’ll soon bring their friends and families along.
“People trust us. They’ve known us since elementary school, and they know we care about the community,” said said Delano native Charlene Faye Cubangbang, who is now starting her second year at UCLA majoring in political science. “For me, this is full circle. It’s coming back to my roots.”