In September 2019, Site for Smiles and Smarts collaborated with the Des Moines Public Schools and the Des Moines Register to organize and host 'Youth Voice: The Iowa Caucus', a presidential town hall that allowed high school and college students from across Iowa to engage with six candidates vying for the Democratic nomination.
Students had the opportunity to ask candidates questions about issues affecting youth, such as student loan debt, climate change, gun violence, and more. Participants included Bernie Sanders, Andrew Yang, Tulsi Gabbard, Tom Steyer, Joe Sestak, and Michael Bennet. Site for Smiles and Smarts founder Fez Zafar served as the event's moderator, and the event was run by the Roosevelt High School Student Council.
The Youth Voice Forum served as one of the first student-run, student-themed, and student-moderated town halls in the history of presidential elections, providing Iowa youth with the unique ability to engage with candidates ahead of the state's Caucuses. Through the event, over 100 students became registered to vote, and many more left the venue with the attitude of an inspired voter. Watch clips from the forum below!
Fez's Opening Remarks
Full Video of Forum