Adam and Mahey
My name is Adam Stevenson and I am a Junior studying International Relations with a minor in Civic Engagement Leadership at Brigham Young University. One of the defining times in my life so far was that spent in Buenos Aires, Argentina as a full-time missionary for the LDS church. It was an inspiring but also sobering experience. I came to see the full range of human emotions and experiences. I discovered that many people languish in cycles of poverty or inaction that are almost beyond their own control. Of course there is an element of personal decision but our decisions cannot be made in a vacuum and our decisions are very much tied to and influenced by social and racial stigmas that have existed for centuries. Interning with Our Voices Matter I hope to be able to see the incredible potential that exists in every human life and express that perspective to those who may not yet see their own-- and discover in my interaction with them the innate ability of humans to create a more just and equitable society.
At OVM, I'm working on community empowerment in the Long Branch neighborhood and bringing a forum to different areas in Montgomery County to increase civic engagement.
My name is Mahey Gheis and I am a rising senior at the Park School of Baltimore. Throughout my 13 years living in the city and crossing the county line to go to school, I’ve realized the discrepancies between those who live in the county and go to private schools like Park and those who live in the city attending the schools they’re zoned for. Diversity of race and economic status is probably the most striking difference I’ve noticed between the two. Living at home in a community of people that I didn't see represented in and around my school encouraged me to pursue camps and programs centered on social justice, and how to empower the disenfranchised. It isn’t fair to give the extremely important tool of education to a select few. Education impacts several other issues, like the school-to-prison pipeline and poverty. This is how my interest in civic engagement began, and I’ve learned a lot on inequality in several different respects. Getting to work at Our Voices Matter allows me to put what I’ve learned into real action.
This summer, I'm focusing on getting voters engaged in Montgomery County so that they get out and vote for their interests, as well as increasing OVM's social media presence.
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