Updated: Dec 8, 2020
While exploring ways to be more engaged in my community I stumbled across the Civitas website. I remember thinking that this is exactly what I was looking for. I saw events for presentations with elected officials and community leaders. I looked through the field trips the interns had gone on and wished I could have been a part of it. Since then I’ve continued to be a part of Civitas. I’m a huge fan of their Saturday morning events and not just because of the tasty snacks. The office itself has such a welcoming teen-friendly environment filled with snacks and comfy chairs. Civitas is a place where young people can speak their minds without fear of judgment.
Civitas works hard to inspire kids to be active citizens- to speak up and let their voices be heard. At the same time Civitas encourages introspection and I at times have had to check my own assumptions. Since the first Civitas event I went to- I believe a presentation by Senator Brian Williams- I have learned and grown as a person. Through the summer internship, I’ve seen a new side of Saint Louis and met people from all sorts of backgrounds.
I spent the summer working on a voter engagement project where I learned the ins and outs of voting. This project was especially timely as this is a big election year and my first year of being an eligible voter. I was also given the freedom to explore an independent project on a topic of my choice. I studied food insecurity and the sociological issues that surround it. Civitas also exposed me to a new side of Saint Louis and also the history that has shaped our city into what it is today.
Civitas is unique and I’m really glad they exist. Despite the uniqueness of the mission of Civitas, it’s the people that make it such a great organization. It is clear that all the staff truly enjoy what they are doing. Everyone I have encountered has been extremely kind and collaborative. Given Civitas’ diverse activities there is truly something for everyone. Whether you’re passionate about environmental justice, politics, stem, international relations, or anything else- there is a place for you. At Civitas they care about the entire person.
Civitas is currently engaging in a campaign to increase voter participation in Missouri. The “Show-Me” state was considered a swing state up until 2012. We believe that with more voter participation, it can once again be in play. We have e-mailed 1,400 “reluctant voters,” encourage them to engage. We received an opening rate of up to 14% which is exceptionally high when e-mailing strangers.
We will be starting a postcard campaign to reluctant voters, beginning with 500 postcards to be hand-written.
Civitas continues with other programs such as Model United Nations, even if it is virtual.
Civitas has activities like movie and trivia nights and outings out into the great city of Saint Louis. I hope Civitas is around for years to come- we are all so much better with them.
By: Stephanie Njeri
GGI will be conducting monthly spotlights on organizations that we've worked with/admire. GGI partnered with Civitas for a joint-media collaboration and was honored to welcome Arthur Lieber, candidate for Congress in Missouri's second district and Director at Civitas Associates, to be a guest speaker on our "Vote for the Greater Good" campaign - a project aimed at decreasing voter apathy amongst young people.