Thomas Veague is a Summer Partnership Associate at TurboVote and a recent graduate of Knox College in Galesburg Illinois.  

Last spring, I graduated from Knox College, a small liberal arts school in western Illinois.  The humble city of Galesburg is home to Knox, and the two will always have a special place in my heart.  Looking back, it’s clear that the relationships I built with faculty and friends were what made Knox so unique.  The most inspiring aspect of Knox was the work that students and faculty did to be part of the community as a whole.

Yes, he is always this positive

Knox College and the City of Galesburg were founded together.  The community and the college have supported each other since Knox opened its doors in 1837. Over the college’s 175 year history, both the school and the city have faced their fair share of challenges. In recent years Galesburg has fallen on some hard economic times.  With drive and dedication, the students of Knox College have gone to great lengths to help the city they love and cherish. In four short years, I’ve seen students start community gardens, participate in city government, aid local businesses, support farmers markets, conduct academic research on ways to strengthen the community, help facilitate community dinners, teach in public schools, and much more. Students and community members worked together to make a huge difference.

The work that the students did is a great example of what a large difference a small group of community members can make together.  However, Galesburg still faces many challenges.  It’s going to take sustained community involvement to fix all the issues that I saw in Galesburg.  TurboVote can help these stakeholders stay engaged with their communities and address the problems that are important to them.

It was with that in mind that I gave TurboVote to ten of my closest friends at Knox. TurboVote will alert users about local, secondary, and federal elections and simplify the process of registering in new areas or voting absentee.  I know it will help them continue to be engaged where their vote can make the biggest difference.  My friends did great things for Galesburg.  Thanks to Knox, I know they will continue to do great things for their future communities.  Using TurboVote will make it easier for them to make those differences.