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Spirit of Community

A Chandler Teen Earns Statewide Recognition for her Dedication to Community Service

Article by Michelle Talsma Everson

Photography by Lindsay Borg

Originally published in Chandler Lifestyle

Teens like Hamilton High School senior Anika Attaluri remind us that the future is bright.

Attaluri was just named one of Arizona's top youth volunteers of 2021 by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. As a state honoree, she won a $2,500 college scholarship—and will find out this month if she is one of America’s top youth volunteers of the year. While she volunteers with a variety of nonprofits, it’s her role with the My School Votes (MSV) program that landed her the national honor.

“As a 17-year old first-generation American, I understand how daunting the voting process can be for first-time voters,” she explains. “So, I was ecstatic to join My School Votes to institutionalize this sustainable program in Arizona communities. We were able to break down the voting process and help voters, especially in areas of low voter turnout rates, to register to vote. Furthermore, I created a variety of non-partisan, educational resources to promote civic engagement in communities. As a result, there is now a paved path so first-time voters can vote with confidence, ensuring accurate political representation. Due to COVID-19, we had to create a model from scratch in order to reach young people where they are.”

With the national election over, she continues to work with the MSV team to keep communities engaged. She graduates next month and plans to study biomedical engineering and continuing to volunteer.

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