Taylor Gunn

Ashoka Fellow
Canada,
Fellow Since 2011

Citation

This profile was prepared when Taylor Gunn was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2011.
The New Idea
Taylor is combining the key elements to build the skills of citizenship for non-voting age youth across Canada. He engages students, teachers, family members, and Elections Canada to provide strong, well-supported initiatives through Student Vote. Taylor is creating supportive collaboration for the students, allowing them consistent opportunities to learn about key issues, including candidate debates and participation in a realistic platform, both at school and home. Student Vote programming follows a student-driven, teacher-mentored, and community-supported engagement model, which creates the foundation for youth to have a lasting future in the democratic process.

Taylor’s parallel elections program for students under the voting age coincides with official election periods. The students experience the democratic process firsthand by organizing their own in-school election campaign, participate in candidate forums during school hours with official election candidates, and engage their peers and family members in real-time dialogue based on real election issues. At the closing stages of this initiative, the youth cast a ballot on official candidates and later see their results on television and published in their local newspapers. Taylor is altering the way young people learn about citizenship, which translates into their futures as active citizens, having a lasting positive affect on society as a whole.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

Updates

Student Vote has since joined with Operation Dialogue to form CIVIX, with the aim of spreading political literacy to all Canadian youth.

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