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Student Ambassadors help with voter registration
Secretary of State Brian Kemp visited Effingham County's Student Ambassadors on Jan. 18. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

SPRINGFIELD — Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp is encouraging high school students to learn about civics and be active participants in the political process. His office has partnered with more than 150 high schools, including Effingham County, through the Student Ambassador Program it launched in 2016.
The program is designed for sophomores, juniors and seniors. Each school can have up to nine participants who attend educational events and return to their schools to share what they learned about voting and how to promote it.
Kemp visited Effingham County’s Student Ambassadors on Jan. 18.
“It was refreshing to see what these kids are doing,” Kemp said following the stop.
Student Ambassadors speak to their peers about voting, lead voter registration drives, attend government meetings, research current events and conduct opinion polls. They also frequently hold days of service at their schools and volunteer to assist nonprofit agencies.
“When they are (conducting voter registration drives), that is saving your country registrar a lot of work,” Kemp said.
Effingham County’s Student Ambassadors, led by advisor Nathalie Starling, are Clark Heller, Zy’Quez Johnson-Dukes, Christian Andrews, Sierra Hathaway, Rose Moss, Trace Baranowski, Becca Velasquez, Eric Cribbs and Rafael Osella.
“We are really promoting our voter registration app in our schools,” Kemp said. “(The students) probably aren’t going to listen to me, so we need their peers to talk about it. That’s why we created the Student Ambassadors Program.”