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Trenton Children's Chorus Alums Raise Their Voices to Get Out the Vote

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Trenton Children's Chorus Alums Raise Their Voices to Get Out the Vote

Several weeks ago, Trenton Children's Chorus and the community and board which supports it, made a forceful statement on their website in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

And the alums of TCC went a step further. TCC former students decided to respond together in a way that would continue their commitment to change. Patty Thel, the former artistic director and advisor to the group, put it this way "Trenton Children's Chorus alums are scattered over the country, each alum contributing to their community, states and the country in ways that we are amazed to witness. This particular group of young women is awesome. Their faith and their passion for helping others is obvious. What a privilege it is to know them!"

Zoom meetings with the alums resulted in a commitment to get out the vote and work for voter registration. Two prominent African American women who have worked in the political field joined in to give their best advice. Katina Washington, who is based in North Carolina, worked on the Obama campaign and won the prize nationally for the most voter registrations in 2012. Raissa Walker is the chair of the Democratic committee in Trenton. Both were consultants on the zoom calls. The collective agreement was to encourage peers to engage in the political process.

All of the alums on the call were college graduates. Mrs. Thel adds, "and needless to say, they are all fabulous singers!"

Two of them, Melissa Simmons and Taylor Pickett-Stokes are each involved in public service. Melissa is a recent graduate of the New School in Florida and will be a first year teacher in high school chemistry in Florida in the fall. Taylor graduated from Montclair State University with a bachelors in Theatre Studies and Sociology and is currently in pursuit of a Dual Masters Degree in Public Policy at Rutgers University. Taylor has been working at the Rescue Mission in Trenton.

Although the zoom calls have ended, the alums are independently moving out to do voter registration and encourage their friends to vote through social media and personal contact. Taylor and Melissa are actively encouraging peers and colleagues throughout her communities to vote. Taylor has even encouraged this topic of discussion throughout the Homeless Shelter (Rescue Mission of Trenton) so that the homeless population is not deprived of voting. Melissa will be looking into voter registration in Florida in nursing homes.


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