The Student Reporting Labs team covered the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, exploring each host city to find a diverse range of youth perspectives on this year’s presidential race.
The students — Chloe Golan from Miami, Florida, Evan Gulock from Royal Oak, Michigan, and Kennedy Huff from Pflugerville, Texas — traveled first to Cleveland and then to Philadelphia, talking to young delegates and first-time voters about the issues most important to them.
College affordability, disparities in access to quality education, and issues surrounding race all emerged as major concerns for today’s youth.
Many first-time voters expressed frustration with their choices for president this year, admitting they felt little enthusiasm for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Yet, others said they were excited to take part in this year’s election, particularly young delegates attending the convention to cast their votes.
“To see so many delegates actually my age working with enthusiasm to have the voices of our generation heard was so inspiring,” said Gulock, a sophomore at Columbia College Chicago.
The team visited Boys & Girls Clubs, summer camps, political seminars and other public spaces, and were there on the final night of each convention to see the nominees accept their respective party’s nomination.
“It was amazing to go out on the street with equipment and tell a story and have youth voices heard by youth voices,” said Huff, a sophomore at University of North Texas. “This is a very historic and interesting election year, so being able to be on the front lines of it at my age is something I’ll never forget.”