How We Got Here and
Where We're Going
History: Youthwork emerged in the run-up to the 2020 election as young people stepped forward to serve at polling centers when older election workers were at risk of exposure to COVID-19. In mid-2020, a group of concerned adults and students established Youthwork to rally high school and college students to assist at the polls. A Steering Committee of Maine youth joined a group of concerned adults. Drawing support from similar efforts in states such as Minnesota and California and from the Maine League of Women Voters, Youthwork posted information and suggestions on its website, youthworkmakestheboothwork.org. The effort garnered support from Maine’s Secretary of State, as well as the Commissioner of Education.
The Vision Going Forward: Youthwork is now broadening its work to address a more persistent challenge than those posed by polling procedures: engaging more youth more deeply in the on-going issues faced by their local communities, their state, and the country. Amidst widespread worries that the very fabric of American democracy has been damaged, Youthwork has committed to the long-haul challenge of awakening youth to the essential responsibilities and rewards of civic engagement.