On Friday, May 15, Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote announced the winners of its 2020 Prom Challenge, a virtual event to celebrate the graduating class amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Obama surprised the winners in a Zoom meeting, congratulating the 20 high schools that will be part of the national virtual event.
During the meeting, Obama also announced that When We All Vote, in partnership with MTV, will host a Prom-athon next Friday, complete with an all-day on-air MTV prom-themed takeover.
Immediately following the on-air portion of the Prom-athon, MTV will be taking its talents to Youtube to host a virtual prom party, with celebrity guest appearances, live performances, and more.
When We All Vote’s My School Votes Program, which aims to ensure all students are registered to vote, launched the 2020 Prom Challenge in collaboration with MTV back in January. The challenge served as a grant competition to highlight high schools that were dedicated to boosting voter registration in their communities, according to a press release.
Of the winners, students at Norte Vista High School in Riverdale, California, have registered nearly 1000 people to vote, while another school in Illinois worked to amend election code to help make voting easier for some students.
2020 Prom Challenge Winners:
- Dobson High School (Mesa, AZ) invited celebrities like Natalie Portman to visit their school and help bolster registration rates.
- Western School of Science & Technology’s (Phoenix, AZ) Prom Committee organized to register 84% of seniors to vote.
- Norte Vista High School (Riverside, CA) began registering members of their community to vote after all eligible students were registered.
- Compton Early College High School (Compton, CA) has made it their mission to pre-register and register every 16 and 18 year old, and nearly 100% of seniors have registered.
- Community Charter Early College High School (Lake View Terrace, CA) informed students about how to register to vote and important election information during daily announcements, homeroom, and government courses.
- Thurgood Marshall Academy Public Charter High School (Washington, DC) made registering to vote a part of school spirit and registered 100% of the senior class.
- Hialeah Gardens High School (Hialeah Gardens, FL) hosted a voter registration drive where nearly 200 students registered to vote and continue to organize digitally.
- Meadowcreek High School (Norcross, GA) changed the culture around voting in their school through “Woke Wednesdays,” where they educated one another about local voting laws, elections, and other important issues.
- TF North High School (Calumet City, IL) worked with their state senator to amend the election code, giving students two hours away from school to vote without penalty.
- Muchin College Prep (Chicago, IL) registered 98% of eligible students through lessons on the history and importance of voting.
- Communication and Media Arts High School (Detroit, MI) created a Voting Squad and hosted two days of action that resulted in 99% of eligible students registering.
- John F. Kennedy High School (Winston-Salem, NC) created a culture around voting in their school by promoting voter registration during open houses, parent-teacher conferences, and other school-wide events.
- R.J. Reynolds High School (Winston-Salem, NC) started having conversations as a school community about voting, and nearly 100 students have registered to vote.
- Valley High School (Las Vegas, NV) hosted events during lunch around voting, and about 250 students registered to vote.
- Cass Technical High School (Detroit, MI) registered more than 400 students through pep rallies and other events.
- STEM Academy at Showalter (Chester, PA) students are going beyond their school and registering community members to vote as well.
- Abraham Lincoln High School (Philadelphia, PA) students celebrate their “Almost” 18th birthdays by registering to vote.
- Building 21 High School (Allentown, PA) integrated voter registration into their US Government course.
- Westbury High School (Houston, TX) students created a video to dispel myths about voting as a school community and encourage one another to not only register but show up for local and national elections.
- Golda Meir High School (Milwaukee, WI) students who are registered marched to city hall to rally around the power of the youth vote.