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Secretary Benson names 30 young leaders to Michigan Collegiate Student Advisory Task Force
October 05, 2023
LANSING, Mich. – Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson today announced that 30 students have been selected to serve on the Michigan Department of State's Collegiate Student Advisory Task Force for the 2024 election cycle. The task force will determine and implement recommendations to improve voter education and engagement among young people on college and university campuses across Michigan.
"The new members of the Collegiate Student Advisory Task Force represent a strong base of active, informed young voters in our state,” Secretary Benson said. “I’m proud that Michigan led the nation in youth voter turnout in the 2022 election. This group of young leaders will keep up the momentum statewide and provide valuable insights on how to best engage voters on their campus. I look forward to our work together."
According to a report by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University, Michigan voters ages 18-29 turned out at a rate of 37% in the 2022 midterm elections, higher than any other state CIRCLE analyzed, and far higher than the national average youth turnout rate of 23%. Michigan was one of only four states where youth turnout was higher in 2022 than in 2018.
The Collegiate Student Advisory Task Force, first established by Benson in 2019, brings together students from across the state who are passionate about civic engagement. Task force members serve as liaisons between the Secretary of State’s office, their student body, school administrators, and peers. The group advises on the unique experiences and barriers for student voters, helping to ensure the voices of young people are heard in our state's elections.
The appointed students will serve on the task force through December 2024 with optional enrollment in a paid Campus Vote Project Democracy Fellowship, a project of Fair Elections Center, a national, nonpartisan voting rights organization.
The students represent community colleges, colleges, and universities statewide and were chosen from among nearly 125 applicants to represent their institution of higher education:
Abdullah Aljanabi of Warren - Macomb Community College
Andrew Durkin of Troy - Lansing Community College
Avery Harbison of Zeeland - Central Michigan University
Candace Metzger of Williamston - Michigan State University
Carson Cooley of Hillsdale - Central Michigan University
Cassie Sylvester of Linden - Mott Community College
Cheng Kidd Sun of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Western Michigan University
Elizabeth Stoecker of Midland - Delta College
Ella McKanna of Rockford - Michigan State University
Ethan Lehman-Pace of Clinton Twp. - Oakland University
Haley Hompstead of Roswell, New Mexico - Wayne County Community College
Hassan Ezzeddine of Bloomfield Hills - Wayne State University
Isiah Sageman of Pigeon - Saginaw Valley State University
Jacquindre Brown of Mount Morris - University of Michigan-Flint
Jason Folk of Stow, Ohio - Eastern Michigan University
Kali Munerlyn of Flint - Mott Community College
Keri Hunter of Detroit - Wayne State University
Kylee Bratschi of Milan - Siena Heights University
Lily Sawyers of Sterling Heights - Ferris State University
Lukas Hartley of Holt - Grand Valley State University
Mackenzie Stockwell of Grosse Pointe Woods - Lake Superior State University
Maurielle Courtois of Landisville, Pennsylvania - University of Michigan
Michael Dykstra of Grandville - Calvin University
Naomi Garcia of Riverside, California - University of Michigan
Natalie Craft of Paw Paw - Western Michigan University
Nicholas Gunn of Berrien Springs - Andrews University
Rivkie Biritz of Charlotte - University of Olivet
Vanessa Nguyen of Sterling Heights - Oakland University
Waabanokiizhick Mandoksing of Sault Ste. Marie - Bay Mills Community College
Zena Aljilehawi of Romulus - Henry Ford College
This is third iteration of the Michigan Collegiate Student Advisory Task Force. The reports issued by the previous cohorts are available at Michigan.gov/CSATF.
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