A young woman raises her arms triumphantly and smiles while standing next to a river

Making Her Voice Heard

This story was originally published in October 2020 in Reflections.

Maya Velasquez is looking forward to voting in her first election. “It feels pretty new,” she said. “I’m nervous, but really excited.”
 
Velasquez had wanted to vote for a long time and recently turned 18. “When we were filling out the registration form, I saw a line that made me wonder if she could vote because I am her guardian,” said Kristen Barker.
 
They reached out to HCDDS and got connected to the advocacy team. Advocate Diana Mairose helped them contact the Hamilton County Board of Elections, which confirmed she could vote. Velasquez is very interested in politics and the issues, and plans to vote by mail.
 
“I want to vote,” Velasquez said. “I’ve been waiting for this a lot of my life–to have a voice in issues that are important to me.”