Youth for Politics

Breaking the barrier for a political breakthrough.

Photo of Sophie Howery

Written by

Eligibility: Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth

January 4th, 2003

Where are you located:

McLean, VA 22101

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

Facebook: Sophie Howery Instagram: sophie.mh9

Date Started


Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Idea (hoping to get started in the future)

1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."

2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Young members of society are often excluded from political engagement despite the large role they play as constituents and future voters. After attending multiple political events, I realized that it can be overwhelming for any young attendee to engage with others and spark connections. Youth for Politics hopes to close the awkward generation gap between the youth and older audiences to ensure maximal political engagement and impactful change.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

In order to increase political participation and opportunities among the youth, I intend on implementing a three-pronged plan which includes: digital resources, networking events, and school presentations. While we are currently in the development stage, one aspect of our project includes our website (to be released) where one's local representatives and their duties and significant views will be outlined along with ways to get involved in one's community through canvassing, internships, etc. Another solution includes planning networking events. Starting out in the DC Metro Area and then expanding throughout the nation, these events will remove the barrier between local representatives and the youth by allowing an approachable experience for both parties. Attendees can expect to discuss issues and solutions to problems in their communities and network with other changemakers. Lastly, we plan to collaborate with secondary schools by presenting how to understand local politics beyond textbook explanations and outline ways to increase political engagement. Using these three methods, we hope to create an environment where any young member can become engaged in any way they see fit.

4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

Given the multitude of resources offered by Youth for Politics, there are many ways to get involved. One way includes accessing our website (to be released) where one can find a list of their local representatives with their contact information, a short biography, and an explanation of the role they play in government. Furthermore, people may get involved with YFP by attending one of our free networking events where young members of a community and their local representatives will be able to discuss pertinent issues and solutions. Furthermore, at our events, attendees may expect guest speakers and future opportunities to intern or volunteer with local representatives. Lastly, a school may either book us for a presentation or accept our request. At the visit, attendees can expect to learn more about their community and its local politics and discover ways to engage in their community.

5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

While many organizations empower young members of society to express their views by becoming advocates, there is an apparent barrier between the youth and government officials. Freedom of speech is and always will be the guiding principle of the US, however, it is often difficult for young people to find a platform or the means by which to get politically involved. Given the need for collaboration for lasting change, Youth for Politics will offer comprehensive resources for all young members of society to leave a unique and impactful mark on society with the support of government officials.

6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

As of now, we have not had the chance to make an immense difference given the recency of its development. In the future, Youth for Politics will measure its success in making a difference by responses to our project. The entire project is based on making political discussions and collaboration more enjoyable and accessible, so when we begin getting responses that we have changed someone's perspective on discussing politics or conversing with representatives, we will know that we are making a difference. Furthermore, we plan on knowing that we are making a difference by the number of people we can reach. The more people we reach through personalized school presentations or local networking events, the more politically engaged we are making our communities. Ultimately, the goal is to foster a generation of outspoken, tolerant, and engaged citizens making change with every step.

7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

While Youth for Politics is young, we plan on maximizing our connections early on. As of now, YFP has the potential to partner with VA Senator Wexton, VA Delegate Kathleen Murphy, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse-RI and others. Securing these partnerships will increase the reputability of YFP enough to give us a boost and rise to empower others. At the moment, we plan on headquartering in DC/ the DC Metro Area. However, we would look favorably towards expanding as soon as possible to reach as maybe people as possible, most likely starting on the east coast. Furthermore, YFP is planning on hosting its first networking event in late August as a back-to-school launch to get students thinking about the opportunities around them and to get engaged.

8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?

Given the fact that this a fresh idea, Youth for Politics must first assemble a superb team to maximize outreach with team members in IT, PR, and more. Furthermore, the project will need funding to host networking events, create educational materials and resources, and for research. Most importantly, YFP's most crucial necessity at the moment is guidance and mentorship. While our mission is solidified, we need guidance as to how to get corporate/ additional funding, how to maximize publicity, and how to reach as many young members of society as possible. Furthermore, given the fact that the project will be working alongside both young people and government officials, YFP will need guidance as to how to increase reputability.

9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support

10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.

Youth for Politics' platform is focused on the collaboration among other young people making a difference in their communities. In the future, YFP would love to establish partnerships with Congress(wo)men and other government officials to allow mentorships for gifted young people ready to make change in their communities. Furthermore, YFP plans to collaborate with other Changemakers by consolidating networks and connections to offer as many opportunities as possible to our audience and vice versa for other projects. Next month, YFP hopes to establish a partnership with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse-RI with the goal of spreading our mission and reaching more young future changemakers. If chosen to participate in the Changemaker Lab, YFP will work diligently towards combining efforts to reach similar goals by establishing cross-project networking events to spread the mission of other projects while simultaneously increasing political engagement. Our project is all about collaboration and empowering young people to collaborate with their communities, so any opportunity to work with other Changemakers, YFP will gladly accept.

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • White (for example: German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, French) (6)
  • Black or African American (for example: African American, Jamaican, Haitian, Nigerian, Ethiopian, Somalian, etc) (8)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • Other

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Word of mouth

Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?

Fatima Shahbaz, Harvard '20

Attachments (1)


Committee picture during a Crisis Simulation at a Model UN Conference in January 2018.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Ariyan Miller

Hey There Fellow Changemaker,

Congrats on moving to the next phase. I wishing you the best of luck ! & I am sending love and light to all the positive things that you do.

Photo of Sophie Howery

Thank you, Ariyan! I really appreciate your support and love!

Photo of Russell Agustin

I think it’s important that the youth get in touch with their politics. I wish you the best of luck!

Photo of Sophie Howery

Thanks Russell! I agree with you that getting the youth engaged in their politics is crucial.

Photo of Naomie Pierre-Louis

This entry is very nice, I believe you have the strength to take this idea very far and I'm excited to see the outcome of your mission, a lot of young adults should be more active in politics and your idea seems to be a great way to get them more involved. Good luck!

Photo of Sophie Howery

Thank you, Naomie! Your support is greatly appreciated! I'm glad that we share similar views on the importance of political engagement among young adults.

Photo of Nanaefua Eshun

I commend you for your idea on implementing a three-pronged plan relating to politics. I believe through networking events and school presentations will allow youth to have a voice and be aware of their local representatives in their community and have an opportunity to meet them. Youth are future leaders and their voices need to be heard.

Photo of Sophie Howery

Thank you, Destin! I’m glad to hear that our message is clear. Your support is greatly appreciated!

Photo of Teresa Towey

I love your idea to get young people excited about politics, and it make it accessible for them. Keep mobilizing your peers!

Photo of Sophie Howery

Hi Teresa! I really appreciate your support!

Photo of Kim Solem

Sophie - great idea and great start! I love that you are taking your experience of disconnection from politics and turning it into a positive opportunity for youth civic engagement. I like that you are approaching this from a few angles including online education/dialog, networking events, and classroom presentations. You will inspire the next generation of voters and civic activists! I can't wait to see you take this to the next level.

Photo of Sophie Howery

Hi Kim! Thank you so much for your support! I'm glad that you believe that this project takes on a new angle. Civic activists are important but new angles must be taken to achieve our goals. Thanks a million!

Photo of Riley Jones

Interesting idea. I think youth engagement in policy and politics is super important. Let me know if I can help.

Photo of Sophie Howery

Hi Riley! Thank you so much! I appreciate the support.

Photo of Elijah Snyder

I have alot of the same beliefs, hopes, and ideas as you do. I think that youth political engagement is the single most important thing in this country. I would love to possibly collaborate with you or help you maintain a broader reach. I loved the project.

Photo of Sophie Howery

Thanks Elijah! I really appreciate your feedback, and I’m so glad that you reached out to collaborate! Political engagement among the youth is crucial to a well-informed and well-run nation. It’s our time NOW to make a difference.

Photo of Aarushi Machavarapu

Hey! I personally think this would be such an incredible platform for youth who already know about politics and also youth who have yet to learn and get involved. I run an online platform called Threading Twine which helps youth create social impact as well, so I really resonate with your message and mission to empower youth to ignite change. I would love to work with you and learn more about your ideas! I also have a question: how do you believe that partisanship will influence the content on your platform, the reputation/credibility of your platform, and the users? I've always struggled with this for my startup as well.

Photo of Sophie Howery

Thank you so much! I really appreciate the feedback! I completely agree that partisanship could have an influence on the platform. In order to prevent this as much possible, we will remain as neutral as possible and equally share the positive and negative actions of all representatives, as it is important to know both sides of the story to make an informed opinion. Furthermore, at our networking events, we will invite both democratic and republican representatives and/ or hold respective democratic and republican events. I would also really love to potentially collaborate with you and will check out your platform as well!