CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Man High School is among 11 schools awarded the West Virginia Secretary of State Office’s Jennings Randolph Award during the 2015-2016 academic year.
High schools receive the award when 100 percent of voting-eligible students register to vote. During the 2014-2015 academic year, four high schools received the award.
The following high schools received Jennings Randolph Awards during the 2015-2016 academic year:
— Buffalo High School
— Fairmont East High School
— Independence High School
— Man High School
— Mount View High School
— Phillip Barbour High School
— Ravenswood High School
— River View High School
— Sherman High School
— St. Joseph Central Catholic High School
— Wyoming East High School
Student leaders from the group Inspire West Virginia helped schools meet the award criteria. Inspire student leaders collaborate with peers to lead nonpartisan voter registration projects at their high schools. They also receive training on the campaign and election process, and learn how to help support voter participation.
At the eleven high schools receiving Jennings Randolph Awards, 1,188 students were registered to vote. Statewide, Inspire West Virginia registered 2,200 during the school year.
“We know that West Virginia faces a challenge in getting young residents registered to vote and then getting them to the polls. One solution to that challenge is our work with Inspire WV and the awarding of the Jennings Randolph Award,” Secretary of State Natalie Tennant said. “The numbers show that our work is paying off and civic engagement among West Virginia’s high school students is growing. I encourage rising high school seniors to challenge their classmates to achieve a Jennings Randolph Award during the 2016-2017 school year, and I encourage all newly-registered voters across the state to also get out to the polls and vote.”
Inspire West Virginia program coordinators Olivia McCuskey and Kathryn Long said, “We are so proud of our Inspired Leaders for their exemplary dedication to the civic health of West Virginia. We are ecstatic to see the number of Jennings Randolph Award recipients grow from last year and are excited to continue to improve West Virginia through our Inspired youth.”
Jennings Randolph, the award’s namesake, is known as the father of the 26th amendment, which allowed 18-year-olds to vote. More information on the Jennings Randolph Award and the application for a school to receive the award are available on the W.Va. Secretary of State’s website. This year marks the 45th anniversary of the 26th amendment, which was ratified on July 1, 1971. The Secretary of State’s Office will be partnering with Inspire and West Virginia high schools throughout the year to mark and celebrate this milestone.