School is Back in Session - and so is IGNITE!

Class is back in session! As we return to our campuses this fall or even begin our college experiences, this is a perfect time to set goals and get excited about what is coming this next semester. For me, I am beyond excited to continue spreading IGNITE’s mission and work alongside my college chapter friends at Collin College, especially as the midterms approach.

As president of Collin College’s IGNITE chapter, we often discuss our concerns and brainstorm ideas on how we could bring awareness to issues and be more proactive while developing our political leadership skills. This community has allowed me to build a network where everyone is supportive of each other’s ambitions and college careers. It is through this work that I am able to increase both political and civic participation among young women in my community, and also organize activities like voter registration drives, policy workshops, meetings with elected women and candidates, and opportunities to educate other students in our school.

IGNITE encourages young women to flex their political power – something that must be prioritized ahead of this fall’s midterm elections to get more women elected.

Knowing the issues that affect your community will inspire you to make a difference. From reproductive rights to student debt and more, there are several issues at stake for college women this fall. In 2020, many of us voted for the first time. Our generation is less inclined to identify with a political party. Instead, we’re more likely to identify with a specific issue that affects us directly and look more into candidates that we resonate with.

Our vote is our voice. When we use our power and vote in elections – and that includes all seats at the local, state and federal level – you have a say in who represents your community. Less than 6% of state legislators are under the age of 35! Our generation needs more representation in elected office and it starts with exercising our right to vote. If you’ve already registered to vote, begin volunteering to register voters in your area. We can’t afford to miss this opportunity to make our voices heard at the ballot box in November! Collin College’s IGNITE chapter, for instance, will be hosting campus voter registration drives and educational activities to teach students about their districts, where to research their candidates, and remind them what is at stake. 

There has never been a more crucial moment for young women to harness our power. When you head to the polls this November, bring a friend, or better yet bring two or three. You don’t have to run for office to be politically involved, but we are affected by politics regardless if we want to be or not. There are several ways you can make a lasting impact on your community – including joining an IGNITE chapter at your school, or starting your own! It all starts with you taking that first step and getting out the vote this semester. Together, we can bring change into all of our lives and start building the future we want and deserve. 

Isabella Fuentes is president of Collin College’s IGNITE chapter. 

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