While some high school students may feel as though they are too young to be active in government policies, one student is already on her way to change the world.
Sophomore Lily Howes said she has been working to expand awareness to grow the Democratic Party.
Howes volunteered with the High School Democrats of America, the official student governing body of the Democratic Party, during the 2022 midterm election season. She has worked with the Ohio chapter to set up phone banks, social media outreach and canvassing since the fall of her freshman year.
She said she has found success in student politics over the past few years by working to establish new chapters of the Democratic Party throughout the state of Ohio. She said she also organized a phone bank for the August special election. The event was planned in three days, and it was one of the most successful phone banks for recent elections, she added.
“A phone bank is when you are calling into a desired area and call potential voters to gauge their knowledge about an election and who they’re interested in voting for,” Howes explained.
She said she brought the idea up to her supervisor and worked extensively to organize the event.
“To know I was the one that made that happen—it was so gratifying, and I was over the moon,” she explained.
Howes said she ensures residents have ample resources to vote, providing locations to polls nearby and strategies for transportation to them.
She was interested in current events from a young age and said she formed her own political opinions upon entering high school.
Growing up in Bexley, she explained, she had many resources, connections and a variety of political organizations to join.
When she first got involved in elections, Howes explained, she didn’t really know a lot, and it was challenging to get a foot in the door. After some time, however, she began volunteering and learning more about the process.
“It’s a lot about who you know, and how you can use who you know to gain opportunities,” she said.
She began to work with Mobilize, a website that offers information about political volunteering opportunities, providing her with organizations to get involved with.
“Once I was able to attend some events through Mobilize, I was able to sustain a lot of connections with various organizations through LinkedIn and other social media,” she explained.
Howes said she encourages students to volunteer anytime they can or even attend a phone bank if possible.
“Even if it’s not impacting you personally, work for the greater good and understand where they’re coming from,” Howes said.
Her hope is to continue growing support for Ohio High School Democrats and get more high school students involved in the program. She plans to continue outreaching for support with elections, she added.
“Every call I’m making, every volunteer activity and contact does matter, which is my motivating factor,” Howes said.