Eugenia Agobe, a third-year student at Southwestern University, is passionate about engaging her generation in political processes. She is actively involved in campus-wide efforts to promote voter education, registration, and participation at Southwestern. She believes that it is critically important for young people to be well informed and highly engaged in democratic processes. She has led on campus voter access and education campaigns, served as a Democracy Fellow for the Campus Votes Project, and coordinated a variety of social justice programs. She believes “Change comes only by first listening to your community’s needs. Situated in the liminal space between the theoretical and the practical, I seek to turn my core values of equity, inclusion, and empowerment into lasting change.”
As the daughter of a Nigerian immigrant, I have always had a passion for the promise of democracy. After creating a nonpartisan, bilingual voter education site for our campus during the 2020 election, I noticed many students—especially those from marginalized communities—find voting inaccessible. I wanted to make civic engagement a part of the conversation from the moment students set foot on campus, so they felt empowered to use their voices. In collaboration with our voting coalition and the Office of Diversity Education, I proposed and implemented programs for new student seminars—one based on equity and inclusion, the other on increasing civic engagement—that were widely adopted by faculty. We created a standardized presentation about the value of democratic participation and the logistics of submitting voter registration forms, and gave students resources to find polling places and ballot information. I also applied for and received a grant to provide our coalition with funds for outreach during the 2022 midterms. These experiences taught me that change comes only by first listening to your community’s needs. Situated in the liminal space between the theoretical and the practical, I seek to turn my core values of equity, inclusion, and empowerment into lasting change.