CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Secretary of State Mac Warner is proud to announce that Weir High School seniors Georgia Beatty, Anna Creel, and Abby Wallace have been selected for the “Honorary Secretary of State” program for their efforts to register their classmates and neighbors to vote.
The “Honorary Secretary of State” program is joint venture between the Secretary of State’s Office and Inspire West Virginia – a non-partisan organization aimed at encouraging eligible high school juniors and seniors to register to vote. Inspire-WV hosts a year-long program to engage West Virginia’s young adults to become active and educated voters regardless of their political affiliation.
On Monday morning in a ceremony held in the Secretary of State’s Office in the State Capitol, Secretary Warner introduced Beatty, Creel, and Wallace and congratulated them and their high school.
“Registering to vote should be an important rite of passage for young adults,” Warner said. “When young people vote, they reaffirm everything our forefathers fought for and help keep the flame of democracy lit for the next generation.
“Georgia Beatty, Anna Creel, and Abby Wallace have taken the time to educate their peers on the importance of the election process by getting them registered to vote. Millennials across this nation, and especially in West Virginia are voting, they’re running for office and they’re getting elected. Continuing to give this upcoming generation a voice in their government will be one way for us to keep them here in West Virginia,” Warner said.
"These students are exceptional Inspired Leaders who have displayed both passion and persistence to register and engage their peers in the democratic process,” said Olivia McCuskey, Program Coordinator for Inspire-WV. “These three young young people came highly recommended to me by an Inspired Alumnus, and they have more than lived up to the standard set in their recommendation. They are all passionate about encouraging their peers to become more civically engaged for the betterment of their community and our state as a whole."
Beatty plans to pursue a double major in Journalism and International Studies. Creel is interested in engineering and science, and Wallace wants a career as a civil rights attorney or a legislator.
"Having the chance to serve as an Honorary Secretary of State offers a real-world glimpse into our political system," Beatty said. "As a prospective journalist, I'll soon be working with leaders and prominent figureheads, reporting political/diplomatic/sociocultural stories, and engaging with demographically diverse audiences. This opportunity will certainly present a foothold for accomplishing all of that."
"I’m interested in being an Honorary Secretary of State because I have always been interested in the way the government is run," Creel said. "I believe this opportunity would be a great learning opportunity and unforgettable experience."
"Being selected to be a part of the Honorary Secretary of State program is a wonderful chance to see one of the most crucial roles in state government in action," Wallace said. "I hope to one day be a senator and having some knowledge and activity in state government is a marvelous start on the road to the federal government."
Homer Hickam, award-winning author and former NASA engineer, also stopped by to congratulate the Honorary Secretaries of State for their achievements.
Secretary Warner indicated that a total of 16 students have qualified this year for the “Honorary Secretary of State” recognition.
Pictured (from left to right): Senate Majority Leader Ryan Ferns, R-Ohio; Abby Wallace; Senator Ryan Weld, R-Brooke; Georgia Beatty; author Homer Hickam; Secretary of State Mac Warner; Anna Creel; and Delegate Mark Zatezalo, R-Hancock.