Local League Youth Programs

Local League Youth Programs


Local League: LWV of the North Country
Contact: Suzy Johnson

The LWV of the North Country collaborated with Champlain Valley Educational Services to offer an all-day symposium for area high school students: Citizenship and Political Activism in NYS. The symposium gathered local and state elected officials (city mayor, town supervisor, county legislator, NYS Senator, NYS Assemblymember, and a school board member) to discuss the structures of our various types of governments and to encourage active participation in governmental decision-making. The LWV discussed the importance of voting and voter registration. The Board of Elections commissioners discussed how and why to become involved in the electoral process and that every vote counts. During lunch, all the speakers continued their conversations by rotating among small groups of the student-delegates. The student delegates were able to ask questions at the end of each session.


Local League: LWV of Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties
Contact: Margie McIntosh

We reached out to 29 local high schools in late spring of 2018 and concentrated our efforts on schools interested in collaborating with us. More than 25 committed community volunteers have attended annual trainings and visited schools to do voter registration. Our success in the beginning did and still depends upon the unique relationship between one co[1]chair and school personnel as well as the large volunteer network by the other co-chair. As of 2022, we are now a known entity, and our calls are expected. With Covid restrictions on campus visits, we stayed connected with follow up communications each semester since Spring 2020 with voter tips, updates, and other resources. We have a similar program with all five of our local colleges and universities.


Local League: Albany
Contact: Mary Berry

House of Kicks is an annual sneaker sale held in the Albany area. The LWV of Albany trained youth to do voter registration at the event. With youth leading the charge and the League providing the resources, the youth were registering and interacting with other youth and more likely to discuss voter registration.


Local League: Rochester Metro Area
Contact: Judy Sternberg

This 40- minute program includes:

  1. 20 minutes of interactive discussion about voting and not voting,
  2. A game to bring home the consequences of giving up one’s vote,
  3. Plus 20 minutes for guidance in voter registration.

The program has evolved to include a more diverse presenter team, including men and persons of color. Our two person teams include a team leader who is an LWV-RMA member and a community member.


Local League: LWV Huntington,
Contact: Deborah Cosher

A full day event, 8:30am- 2:30pm, for high school junior and senior girls. Invite a 6 elected women officials or past officials to speak to the high school girls on why they ran for office, the obstacles they faced, and the successes they have had. We have had county legislators, town councilwomen, town clerks and judges participate. After hearing from the officials there is a breakout session with one official, two league members and a small group of girls 6-8 at each table. The girls ask the officials more questions, and then work on a mock candidate. Each table then presents their candidate to the entire group. The students create a job description, resume, platform, a logo, a hashtag, Instagram account, press release, and short speech for their candidate. The League provides breakfast and lunch.


Local League: LWV of Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties
Contact: Margie McIntosh

At specific voter registration events, we hold a special election to draw people to our table, mostly children, but parents come along! For instance, at the local YMCA, we had a “Best Green Vegetable” election, with paper ballots, including an opportunity for a write in candidate. The ballots were cast and a “Kids vote too” sticker was given out. Each venue was sent a poster with the results.


Local League: LWV Huntington,
Contact: Deborah Cosher

Suffolk County LWV and the Suffolk County Legislature jointly sponsor the program. They invite several high schools to participate by selecting six to eight students from their school who are interested in a full day “behind the scenes” educational experience into the inner workings of our local government. The day consists of a welcome from the Presiding Officer, hearing from several legislators, breakup sessions of small groups to learn “How a Bill Becomes a Law,” “How Ideas Become Resolutions,” etc. This is followed by a Mock Legislative Session.


Local League: LWV of Saratoga
Contact: Deb Peck Kelleher

A video targeted to fifth grade students and designed specifically for the last election. It is just six minutes long but talks about the importance of voting and the ballot proposals. The link to the video is: https://www.lwvsaratoga.org/teachmetovote2021.


Local League: LWV Huntington,
Contact: Deborah Cosher

Vote 18 is an interactive voting lesson run by a LWV facilitator. They lead the students through the two hundred years plus journey of the history of voting from our country’s inception to the present. Next the students conduct a debate and hold a mock election to promote a discussion of current events and timely issues. The students are then taught how to fill out a voter registration form and the eligible students are registered. The program requires three to four league members to participate.


Local League: Westchester ILO
Contact: Kathy Meany

The League of Women Voters of Westchester Youth Corps encourages youth, as our leaders of tomorrow, to become active and informed participants in government and to ensure that young adult voices are heard. We encourage all students, ages 16- 23, to be part of the Corps. In 2020, LWVW piloted a Youth Corps comprised of 20 high school and college students and is currently in the process of expanding the Corps as students transition out of the program. Students were actively involved in voter registration drives; assisted at poll locations by guiding the elderly and disabled to designated voter lines and distributing water and snacks to those waiting in long lines; developed GOTV videos for distribution; and launched the Youth Corps’ Instagram GOTV messaging.

Thank you to the State Youth Committee for putting this together with a special thanks to:

  • Betty Ann King, LWV of the North Country
  • Deb Cosher, LWV of Huntington
  • Megan Nettleton, LWV of Tompkins County
  • Jane Hatterer, LWV of NYC
  • Myra Pelz, LWV of Rochester Metro
  • Susan Ferris Rights, LWV of North East Westchester
  • Lindsey Houlihan, LWV of Scarsdal