Welcome, Abigail!

June 12, 2014

GC is fortunate to have a committed, talented cohort of interns this summer. Abigail Panitz, a rising senior at Friends Seminary in New York City, joins the development team to support our national and NYC fundraising efforts. Welcome, Abigail!

I come from a family of people who believe in the value of education. Many of my relatives work at or volunteer with nonprofit organizations. It seems I have been raised not to believe that change making is an option for me to pursue; rather, whatever I intend to do in the future can and will be rooted in the power of making a difference. I have gotten the chance to interact with different nonprofits, and I am excited to work to now discover how one works from the inside by working with Generation Citizen.

As a rising high-school senior at Friends Seminary, I have learned about change in my daily life. I am lucky to be able to attend a service-oriented school, where there is an emphasis on giving back to the community. I enjoy being able to volunteer at food banks and other organizations where I can see the power of my work making a difference. One of my most recent contributions to my school community was raising money to benefit the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Organizing something like that, albeit on a small scale, affirmed my interest in service.

I have lived in New York City my entire life, and it has helped make me into an aware person. It is hard to walk the streets of New York City every day and not be struck by the disparity of wealth one can find, even just within a one or two-block radius.  To be able to volunteer and understand the intricacies of the city’s diversity has been very rewarding, and has further magnified my interest in service. The breadth of information that the city offers is unparalleled, and I hope that all of my peers are able to benefit as much as I am from its resources. I feel lucky to have been able to interact with thinkers who inspire me to make a change in my community. I believe in the power of community because my community makes me feel prepared for the outside world. My interest in international relations can be attributed to my urban experiences.

I have profited from being in a caring and democratic community, which is why I believe in the power of civic engagement. I have been taught on a basic level to use my voice to shape my school’s community. As my school operates on a Quaker model of education, we operate very democratically. We have Meetings for Business whenever the need arises; during these meetings, anyone can raise concerns and attempt to address them by collaborating. In the past, we have talked about the misuse of school-wide email blasts, as well as more widespread issues such as cultural appropriation. Being able to participate in my school community has made me feel like a more powerful individual, and I hope others are able to benefit similarly. My personal interests also drive me to want to learn more about civics. I have an affinity for current events on a global level as well as American politics. I am interested in learning more about the way the city government operates by working at Generation Citizen.

Growing up I have always gotten the sense that my generation has the obligation of solving major issues, more so even than the generations before me. I think that the youth are always looked to as a source of new ideas, but that now, this emphasis is heightened. Civic engagement is central to this focus. Civics motivates students on a basic level. I have seen my peers become disillusioned with curriculum, finding it to be inapplicable to the “real world”. I have experienced firsthand how exciting it is to see connections between classroom lessons and “real life” scenarios.

I believe that GC offers the tools to enable teenagers to seize their potential. The model GC offers is able to provide the youth with opportunities that seem entirely unimaginable. I trust in the power of education in the form of civics engagement to transform the next generation of potential voters, my generation, into active individuals. I am excited to work with GC this summer to help promote civics and to learn more about the model of civic engagement that the organization offers.

– Abigail Panitz, Development Intern

Generation Citizen is a nonpartisan, 501(c)3 tax exempt organization which does not endorse candidates; our goal is to engage our staff, participants, and stakeholders in political and civic action on issues that matter to them personally and in their communities. The opinions expressed in this blog post are those of the writer alone and do not reflect the opinions of Generation Citizen.

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