17-Year-Old Venezuelan American Helped Register 65,000 Georgians


Image via Edward Aguilar

By Araceli Cruz

December 8, 2020

A Latino student co-launched Students for Tomorrow to help register thousands of Georgians to vote in the presidential election, and they did it again for the Senate runoff elections.

Edward Aguilar isn’t interested in politics, but as a child of a Venezuelan immigrant, it’s difficult for him to stay away. While he’s not old enough to vote yet, the 17-year-old student at Alpharetta High School in Georgia helped to register 65,000 Georgians in the presidential election—and he’s not done yet. 

Monday, December 7th, was the last day for people to register in Georgia for the Jan. 5 Senate runoff elections. Aguilar says that he and Students for Tomorrow, an organization he co-launched, registered at least 2,000 new voters, but the final tally isn’t known. The organization is also backing Senate candidate, Democrat Jon Ossoff

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In an interview with The Americano, Aguilar credits his mother’s turbulent life in Venezuela as his motivation to make sure students are registered to vote. Earlier this year, Aguilar also helped supply personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospitals in the US.

“My mom grew up in Caracas, Venezuela, and she moved here to the US just a few years before having me,” Aguilar said. “When she was my age, she was growing up in the middle of a military revolution, and she went to a military school, and she has so many stories like many who lived in Venezuela at the time.”

Aguilar says his mother’s revolutionary past became an innate part of his life, which helped him seek ways to be involved in his community. 

“Everything she does,—and I love her for this—she’s so passionate about. When it came to politics in the United States, I think a lot of that transferred on to me and wanting to go and change something,” Aguilar said. “I think that is more so in the last year, to be able to take some of that power back when it seems like it’s taken away more and more every passing day. It’s an opportunity to do something for your community. In this case, it is actually being heard in the election and fight for something you believe in.”


Aguilar says they’re backing the Ossoff campaign because he represents students as a young candidate, and his policies would help Georgia youths. He said the organization’s long-term goal is to elect Ossoff into office and register newly eligible voters, roughly 23,000 people who just turned 18. 

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“As students, we have the highest rates of underrepresentation because we make up the largest eligible voting population but one of the smallest groups in government,” Aguilar said. 

There’s no question Aguilar is getting a lot of attention because of the work that he is doing in Georgia. So as for now, he is focused on the Senate runoff elections, but he says his future won’t be in politics. His main objective is going to college, where he hopes to be an immigration lawyer someday. 





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