UA graduate to receive award from Andrew Goodman FoundationBy Adam Dodson | 07/20/2017 8:12pm
Recent UA graduate Dana Sweeney has been selected as one of five students nationwide to receive the Andrew Goodman Foundation's Hidden Heroes Award. The five students chosen for the award will be recognized at the National Civic Leadership Training Summit in New York on August 5.
The goal of the Andrew Goodman Foundation is to ensure that young voters are active and engaged in what is going on in America. Their "Vote Everywhere" program trains student ambassadors and universities to help get college students involved in their civic duty. Sweeney, who graduated from UA in May, is a member of the Vote Everywhere program.
Students chosen as recipients of this award have demonstrated commitment to civic engagement, student leadership and service on their campuses as well as in their surrounding communities. The award also recognizes students who are highly influential in civic participation and political advocacy.
"Our Vote Everywhere Ambassadors continue to surprise and inspire us with the commitment they show to civic engagement and social justice,” said Sylvia Golbin-Goodman, The Andrew Goodman Foundation's Executive Director.
"While many of our Ambassadors have accomplished amazing things this year, the five Hidden Heroes Award recipients stand out in their extraordinary efforts to ensure a peaceful, just, and sustainable future."
Sweeney is being honored for his work on increasing the role of absentee voting on UA's campus. Previously, it was necessary for those wishing to cast an absentee ballot to purchase a campus mailbox, which could put a burden on potential voters. Sweeney was able to help alleviate this problem by meeting with UA administrators and replacing the old system with a free mail code system that is available to all students on campus.
The new system replaces a mail system that was costing students up to an additional $80 for campus mail. Sweeney began his work to replace the old mailbox system in 2015. By the end of Summer 2016 and before the U.S. presidential election, The University of Alabama adopted his free mailing system. Over 1,200 out-of-state students cast absentee ballots in the 2016 presidential election.
Sweeney and the Vote Everywhere team at Alabama now aim to increase student voter participation at UA by adding voter registration information to student orientation programs and increasing voter turnout throughout the state.