News Release

NCLR and School Partners Unveil Curriculum to Help Boost High School Youth Voter Participation

Program launched at East Austin College Prep

April 28, 2016

Camila Gallardo
(305) 215-4259

WASHINGTON, D.C.—On Thursday, April 28, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) unveiled its High School Democracy Project, a curriculum and tool kit designed to promote youth voter participation, particularly among Latinos. The curriculum was designed in collaboration with high school administrators, teachers and students in two states. At this initial rollout, NCLR representatives were joined by East Austin College Prep, Houston Gateway Academy, George I. Sanchez Charter School, Academia Avance, administrators, teachers, students, and local community supporters. The curriculum will become part of offerings at several schools in NCLR’s extensive national Affiliate Network, and will be made available to other community and school partners.

With nearly 1 million Latino U.S. citizens turning 18 every year, youth are a critical segment of the Latino electorate and can play an important role in shaping local and national politics. The newly developed curriculum aims to provide teachers and students tools to help their eligible seniors register to vote before they graduate, while discussing voting rights and related issues.

“NCLR is proud to work with our communities in designing actionable tools to strengthen voting participation. Many youth today will not only be first time voters, but perhaps the first voters in their families—we want to make sure they have the tools to shape our collective future by voting. Their vote carries with it not just their own aspirations, needs, and contributions, but those of their families and communities,” said Janet Hernandez, NCLR Senior Civic Engagement Project Manager.

“This is a crucial opportunity to lay the final groundwork with our graduating seniors about the importance of voter participation as they prepare to head out into the world,” said Dr. Salvador Cavazos, Superintendent of Schools for East Austin College Prep. “Most of them will be of voting age by the general election in November and we want them to feel empowered to use their votes to make a difference.”

The High School Democracy Project is part of NCLR’s effort to grow Latino participation with both proven traditional methods and innovative tactics. Its Latinos Vote 2016 campaign is reaching prospective voters in person through multistate community canvassing, Affiliates, service providers, and small businesses. Online, the groundbreaking Latinos Vote app and web tool put registration at users’ fingertips and allow them to help others register just by sharing their phones. In schools, a newly developed high school democracy project provides an easy curriculum to help schools register their eligible high school seniors. NCLR also continues to engage potential voters with proven methods such as issue education and engagement and collaborations with media partners.

NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. For more information on NCLR, please visit or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.

About East Austin College Prep: EAPrep is a free, public charter school that provides a rigorous college preparatory education to students grades 2–12, focusing on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The school also focuses student learning on community service and engagement, cultural arts activities and family engagement, acting as a central part of a larger community transformation initiative from Southwest Key Programs known as the East Austin Children’s Promise.