Skip to content

EdNC. Essential education news. Important stories. Your voice.

EdNC’s First Vote NC wins national Civvy’s award

If you know me, then you will know how much I love that EdNC’s First Vote NC won a national award yesterday for being “a breath of fresh air in a gridlocked, hyper-partisan nation.”

We absolutely agree that First Vote NC is one of “the active ingredients necessary for revitalizing democracy at the local and national level,” and we believe it is the most important ingredient in North Carolina.

First Vote NC allows high school students to participate in online, simulated elections so they graduate civic ready. It expands the opportunity for civic education statewide, building a more informed electorate.

This is EdNC. We believe our students will change the world. This is First Vote NC. This is why voting matters.

“Without the innovative and dedicated North Carolina teachers who implemented the First Vote NC initiative in their schools, this national award would not have happened,” said Hunter Buxton, the founder of First Vote NC. “Everyone involved with First Vote NC is grateful for the teachers willing to go the extra mile to provide their students with this meaningful and impactful experience.”

Cynthia Jolly, the chair of the SECU Foundation, says, “there is a place for us today to still be good listeners, to be civil to each other, to listen to each other’s opinion, and to collaborate and work together.”

It is our privilege to do this work for our students, our schools, and our state. Thank you, Civvys!

Press Release

WASHINGTON — The 23 Civvys finalists for this year’s American Civic Collaboration Awards are more than just a breath of fresh air in a gridlocked, hyper-partisan nation – they’re the active ingredients necessary for revitalizing democracy at the local and national level. Six of these exemplar projects will be celebrated in an awards ceremony this October, honored for the impact they have had on their communities, recognized for their practices of civic collaboration, and uplifted as a model for others to follow.

In its second year, the Civvys will present awards to winners in four categories: national, local, youth, and political, as well as an additional “Committee’s Choice.” Finalists were selected from a competitive field of exceptional submissions from all corners of American life, and evaluated by an esteemed committee of reviewers – comprised of leaders from organizations such as the Kettering Foundation, the Bipartisan Policy Center, Converge, Democracy Fund, and more.

Finalists and Honorable Mentions can be viewed at

The Civvys will be presented in an awards ceremony midday at the National Conference on Citizenship in Washington D.C. on Thursday, October 18, 2018.

The National Conference on Citizenship is an annual event bringing together leaders in the field of civic engagement along with other individuals and organizations interested in utilizing civic engagement principles and practices to enhance their work.

In its second year, the American Civic Collaboration Awards are hosted by the Bridge Alliance Education Fund, Big Tent Nation, and the National Conference on Citizenship. The awards highlight collaborative, scalable and high-impact efforts across the country.

The 2018 Civvys Finalists

Political Cases of collaborative political leadership, campaigns, or reformed political processes
● Congress to Campus by USAFMC
● Leslie Danks Burke, Trailblazers PAC
● Seattle City Club Washington State Debate Coalition
● RCV Education Effort (The Chamberlain Project Foundation and The Foundation for Independent
Voter Education)
● Representative Kim Dudik, Montana State Legislature

National Projects with a nationwide scope and audience
● ENACT: The Educational Network for Active Civic Transformation
● L. Douglas Dobson, Lou Frey Institute
● Louise Dube, iCivics
● Make America Dinner Again (Justine Lee, Tria Chang)
● Maria Yuan, Issue Voter
● Rob Fersh, Convergence Center for Policy Resolution

Local Projects with a local, statewide or regional focus
● Betty Knighton, West Virginia Center for Civic Life
● Christie Lassen and Alli Jessing, Howard County Library System
● Colorado State University Center for Public Deliberation
● Interfaith Works El Hindi Center for Dialogue (Beth Broadway, Peter Willner and team)
● Janet Harris, Winthrop Rockefeller Institute
● Make Shift Coffee House, Craig Freshley

Youth Projects led by or for children, teenagers or young adults
● Bridge the Divide
● First Vote NC
● Inspire U.S., Hannah Mixdorf and Chelsea Costello
● Junior State of America’s Council of Governors
● Lynn University, Project Civitas
● Montevallo Junior City Council

Follow the conversation around this exciting work on social media using #Civvys.

Mebane Rash

Mebane Rash is the CEO and editor-in-chief of EducationNC.