2010 file photo, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp speaks in Atlanta. The state’s top elections official stood out by refusing help from the Department of Homeland Security in August 2016 amid national concerns about the integrity of U.S. elections. His assurances have threatened to become a liability as he runs for governor after new details emerged about major security mistakes at the center managing Georgia’s election technology. Kemp announced Friday, July 14, 2017, that he plans to bring the center’s operations in-house within a year. (AP Photo/John Amis, File)

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced that 175 high schools and organizations in ninety-four counties will participate in Student Ambassador Program initiative. The program encourages civic engagement and voter registration among young adults.

Starting next month, over 1,500 sophomores, juniors, and seniors will attend training across the state as the program’s yearly competition begins.

“Since the program’s inception, we have seen tremendous personal growth among our Student Ambassadors as they take on leadership roles in their schools, organizations, and communities. They are excited to be a part of this initiative to build their résumés and prepare for life beyond high school, and their teachers are enthusiastic about the program’s results,” stated Secretary Kemp. “In three years, thousands of students have registered to vote as a direct result of this program.”

Following the program’s initiation, electronic voter registration among eighteen-year-olds has more than doubled through the state’s online platform and free “GA SOS” mobile app for Apple and Android devices. Prior to the program’s pilot year in 2016, only 8,132 young adults registered to vote using the state’s electronic platforms. Now, 16,737 young adults – and counting – have electronically registered to vote in Georgia.

“This program is truly one-of-a-kind, and it will continue to flourish as word about its success spreads across the state. Thousands of young adults who were previously uninterested or unaware about the nation’s electoral process now show an overwhelming desire to get involved. We are appealing to this generation’s need to make a lasting impact on their surroundings, and we are building an informed electorate in the process.”

To learn more about this program, click here.

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Jeremy Spencer grew up in rural South Georgia and has served as a healthcare provider, high school science teacher, school administrator, and state education official. Jeremy is currently the market and content manager for All on Georgia-Camden and Glynn Counties. Jeremy’s focus is local news, statewide education issues, and statewide political commentary for the All on Georgia News Network. Jeremy has served as an education policy analyst for local legislators and state education leaders as well as a campaign strategist for local and statewide political campaigns.  Jeremy holds degrees in science and education from the University of Georgia, Piedmont College, and Valdosta State University. He and his wife have lived in Camden County for 17 years, and they have two teenage children. Jeremy and his family live in St. Marys, GA and attend the Harbour Worship Center in Kingsland.