YEA Camp

Camper Profile: High Schooler Too Young to Vote Exemplifies Civic Engagement

10410747_625251384251176_4877658917510833795_nAna Little-Sana of San Diego is just 15 years old — to young to vote — but she wants you to know: ELECTION DAY IS ON TUESDAY!!! Ana is interning for Congressman Scott Peters and is devoted to his re-election. Peters is the Democratic incumbent running against Republican Carl DeMaio to represent San Diego’s district 52. Ana is a rockstar activist and involved in many causes. YEA Camp interviewed her to learn why she got so involved in the election and her experience on the campaign.

YEA: You’re not yet old enough to vote, yet you’ve been very active in trying to make a difference in this election. What inspired you to get involved in this type of activism? Why are you supporting Scott Peters?

Ana: When I left YEA Camp I had few intentions to pursue politics as part of my action plan, but there is a lot at stake in this election. Rep. Scott Peters is an advocate for women, students, and minorities and has a voting record I am confident representing. He has a 100% endorsement from the Sierra Club, the Humane Society, Planned Parenthood, and the Human Rights Campaign. To me this internship is not simply a way to earn community service hours or expand my resume, but rather truly make a difference in this election.

YEA: What are some of the things you are doing in your role on the campaign?

Ana: I live and breathe this election. In the office I phone bank, ID voters, and do miscellaneous jobs. I also canvass precincts. I am lucky I don’t get abused as an intern. No coffee runs or foot massages. Outside of the office I work on informing people about the election. Many are pretty oblivious to what’s going on. I also have registered people to vote. It’s super easy, and you can even do it online.

YEA: Youth under 18 don’t get to vote and so don’t have a direct say to influence our leaders. Yet, what responsibility do you think our government has to young people?

Ana: So many of the policies Congress creates will impact my generation the most. From college loans, to choice legislation to taxes, Congress is drafting the bills that could potentially change the way we live. While I am fortunate to work alongside a TON of youth, it’s pretty discouraging how inactive my peers are in politics. If we aren’t our own voice, who will be?

YEA: What have you learned about our political process or activism in general from your experience on this campaign?

Ana: I have learned so much this campaign. I have found people who spend their lives advocating for the very causes I want to spend my life fighting for. I spend my days in an office with activists, advocates, and students. It’s pretty great.

YEA: What other types of activism have you done or do you do?10743400_627303914045923_831931710_n

Ana: I do a lot. My issues of interest focus around human/labor rights, animal rights, women’s/reproductive rights, and environmental issues. If I am not protesting, I am working on one activism cause or another. I actually got this internship by talking to people at a protest.

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YEA: What would you say to other people considering getting involved in activism?

Ana: Activism has given my life so much purpose and it brings me so much joy. Activism is making intentional changes to help make changes in our world. It isn’t all or nothing.

YEA: How has YEA Camp helped you in your activism?

Ana: YEA Camp gave me the confidence I needed to put myself out there. The world can be a mean place and having a week where everyone told you how awesome you are was so special.

If you are inspired by Ana (how could you not be??!), find out more about the candidates in your area at VoteSmart.org and click the links above to see politicians’ scorecards from environmental, women’s, LGBT, and animal advocacy organizations. Then, to get involved in critical national races in the next few days before the election, please visit MoveOn.org or other group to make calls and get out the vote!