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Prado Serves As Honorary Secretary Of State

February 27, 2019
BY LAUREN MATTHEWS - EDITOR (LMATTHEWS@WETZELCHRONICLE.COM) , Wetzel Chronicle

Hundred High School senior Jocelyn Prado engaged in a unique experience recently, as she was named Honorary Secretary of State.

According to information from West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner's website, located at sos.wv.gov/Pages/default.aspx, the Honorary Secretary of State program is for high school seniors and juniors who have an interest in state government and a love for civic engagement. Students who recognized as Honorary Secretary of States "are leaders in their high schools and have committed to registering, informing, and mobilizing their peers to vote."

This program is the result of Warner's office and non-partisan organizations such as Inspire West Virginia, which encourage eligible high school juniors and seniors to register to vote. More information on the Inspire program can be found at www.inspire-usa.org/about. This program promises to "support high schools in planning and conducting student peer-to-peer voter registration activities."

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Hundred High School senior Jocelyn Prado stands beside West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner. Prado was named Honorary Secretary of State for her efforts in registering her fellow peers to vote.

Prado said she became involved with Inspire about two years ago when she filled out an application to become an ambassador for West Virginia Inspire. After an interview and subsequent acceptance into the program, Prado was able to register 100 percent of her class to vote.

As a result of these efforts, Hundred High School will also be the recipient of the Jennings Randolph award, which will be presented by Secretary of State Warner.

Notably, the late Randolph, who was a U.S. Senator from Harrison County, is known as the father of the 26th Amendment. According to the above-mentioned WV Secretary of State's website, Randolph "introduced a bill 11 times to lower the required age to register to vote from 21 to 18. He believed that if U.S. citizens were old enough to fight and die for their country, then they were old enough to vote for the leaders who were sending them to these conflicts. In 1971, the 26th Amendment was passed and changed the voting age to 18."

The Secretary of State's office has since created the Jennings Randolph award, which is given to high schools that have 100 percent of eligible students registered to vote.

Of her efforts to register her peers to vote, Prado noted, "I have always thought civic responsibility and engagement have been very important. I was excited to get to share my passion with my classmates and encourage them to take part in the government, even if it was just their local government."

"I am incredibly proud of Jocelyn, and the initiative she has taken not only in getting her peers registered to vote, but in understanding the importance of civic engagement as well. So many are quick to complain about our current conditions in West Virginia, but not nearly as many are willing to pull a seat up to the table and work to be a part of the solution. Jocelyn understands that everyone has a voice, as well as the opportunity to use that voice to better their communities. This is how real change occurs. I look forward to witnessing all that Jocelyn will accomplish in the future in her chosen field of political science and national security," stated Hannah Evans, Prado's teacher.

As an Honorary Secretary of State, Prado spent a day shadowing Secretary of State Warner. She was also recognized and introduced by the WV House of Delegates.

"I was honored by the Secretary of State award," Prado noted. "I got to spend the day with Secretary of State Warner and ask him questions about his views on different bill and things going on in the world. He gave a presentation on cyber security and how it impacts us daily, and most people don't realize it. He wants to raise more awareness for young students."

"I highly recommend this to anyone wanting to get involved with politics or government. Overall, my experience at the capital was amazing Mr. Warner is very easygoing and a great man. This experience only made me want to push myself more into politics and national security after high school!"

 
 
 

 

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