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League of Women Voters of the Pikes Peak Region announce GenZVote! youth video contest

COLORADO SPRINGS • The League of Women Voters of the Pikes Peak Region has announced a video contest for youth: GenZVote! The topic of the contest is “Why should Gen Z vote?” The contest is open to

individuals 16-23 years old living in El Paso or Teller counties. Submissions must be 30-60 seconds long and will be accepted Sept. 1-19. Winners will be announced by Oct. 3. Top winners can win $1,000.

“GenZ is diverse and highly educated. They are proving to be socially responsible and understand actions speak louder than words,” says contest organizer Peg Henjum. “Their aspirations transcend partisan outcomes and generate hope for the future of our democratic experiment. We need the GenZ generation, as digital natives, to step up, use their voices and lead!”

Young voters make up a third of eligible voters in our nation, yet the voter turnout rate for this group is shockingly low. The project aligns with the mission of the League of Women Voters, “Defend Democracy. Empower Voters.”

For more information and to register, visit LWVPPR.org.

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10 new CASA volunteers sworn in as officers of the court

COLORADO SPRINGS • Ten new Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA volunteers, were sworn in as officers of the court by Fourth Judicial Judge Dennis McGuire during a swearing-in ceremony at the El Paso County Courthouse July 25.

They are: Ashley Davila, Dirk DeWolfe, Lynne Doran, Briana Lindsey, Paul Melcher, Cosme Morales, Teri Ponsot, Alexandra Ridgeway, Megan Sandefur and Nicole Williams.

After completing 30 hours of training and being sworn in by a judge, these volunteers are now ready to advocate in court and in the community for the best interest of the child (or sibling group) they are assigned to. Kids who benefit from a CASA volunteer are involved with the family court system and child welfare system through no fault of their own, but because they have been abused or neglected.

In a typical 12-month period, there are 800 kids in the Pikes Peak Region who need a CASA volunteer.

Over the past 12 months, CASA was able to provide an advocate for 625 of these kids.

CASA seeks more volunteers in order to close that gap and provide a volunteer to every child in need. Anyone interested in learning more is invited to attend an upcoming volunteer information session on Aug. 3, Aug. 24, or Sept. 7. To RSVP to one of these one-hour sessions, visit casappr.org/volunteer.

CASA of the Pikes Peak Region is a 501©(3) charitable organization founded in 1989 as a local program of the National CASA Association. Serving El Paso and Teller counties, the organization’s core mission is to recruit, train, and support citizen volunteers in its Dependency & Neglect program to provide a voice and advocate for victims of child abuse and neglect.

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Applications open for Mile High Youth Corps’ programs

Applications are being accepted for Mile High Youth Corps’ Land Conservation Fall Trail or Forestry Program. MHYC is searching for individuals between the ages of 18 and 24 to spend 10-13 weeks this fall serving on environmental stewardship projects throughout Colorado.

MHYC’s Land Conservation Program is rooted in the tradition of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s and is devoted to the improvement and sustainable development of youth and the environment.

Projects include construction and maintenance of recreational and safety access trails, habitat restoration, fire fuel mitigation, historical preservation and park development projects. Corpsmembers earn a bi-weekly stipend, and are enrolled in AmeriCorps, earning a scholarship to be used toward their learning. They also receive up to four free mental health counseling sessions.

Corpsmembers will also receive training in one or more stewardship skillsets, including chainsaw operation, trail building and maintenance and pesticide application.

No experience is necessary, MHYC provides hands-on training related to all projects.

Corpsmembers receive industry-recognized certifications that lead to effective service and highly-desirable qualifications and experience that support opportunities for future employment in natural resource management.

Apply at milehighyouthcorps.org/apply-now.

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