June 13, 2016
Young Invincibles represents the interests of 18 to 34 year-olds making sure their perspective is heard wherever decisions about their collective future are being made. It conducts cutting-edge policy research and analysis, shares the stories of young adults, designs campaigns to educate the public on important issue areas, and informs and mobilizes millennials and advocates to change the status quo. The Young Invincibles Student Impact Project (SIP) aims to equip students with the tools and resources to organize and advocate for state policies that support college access, affordability and success. Thanks to support from Voqal, the Young Invincibles have effectively engaged students in this work, especially in the areas of digital advocacy.
In Chicago and the rest of Illinois, Young Invincibles has successfully implemented its Student Impact Project in a number of ways. It conducted three large-scale advocacy days engaging over 500 students, hosted trainings reaching 300 students directly and hundreds more indirectly, published op-eds featuring ten student perspectives, and convened groups from a diverse range of campuses across the state during an unprecedented year for higher education budget stalemate. It also engaged students in creative digital advocacy projects including a Twitter chat around the importance of investing in higher education that reached over 200,000 viewers, generated over 500 Tweets, and engaged students and partners such as Women Employed, American Federation of Teachers and the Higher Ed Not Debt coalition. It also launched a student-authored petition to save Monetary Award Program Funding (MAP) Funding in partnership with Change.org and MTV, assisted student-led e-blast campaigns, and built a youth story bank. Finally, Young Invincibles hosted a series of three “Tech Tuesday” events that brought nonprofit partners together with young adult participants to discuss how new digital tools could most effectively engage young voices.
Thanks to the work of the Young Invincibles, college students in Illinois played a key role in important higher education policy. This included advocacy that propelled the passage of stop-gap higher education funding. Students engaged by the Young Invincibles were also involved in ensuring the Student ACCESS Bill continued to advance. This work was featured by several local and national media outlets including the Washington Post, Politico and USA Today. As these results show, the Student Impact Project empowered students to successfully utilize traditional and digital advocacy to improve access to higher education in Illinois. As a strong believer of the need for an educated community, Voqal is proud supporter of this work and looks forward to seeing continued efforts by Young Invinicibles to create an engaged student and youth population fighting for greater higher education access for all.