Every April, El Hogar has student council elections to vote in a new student body president. The elections are regulated and observed by delegates from the Ministry of Education, and are run on the same day in every school district across the country.
At the beginning of the year, each grade votes on a class president, among other delegates. When it came time for the school election, the presidents of each class and their delegates got together and selected two candidates for school president: Eduin and Lizzi. The week before the election, Eduin and Lizzi presented their platforms and held two debates, in which all of the students attended.
On Election Day, the voting public was assigned a voting area alphabetically by first name. The ballot is a full page with a photo of each candidate so young voters who can’t yet read are able to cast their vote. Once all the votes are cast, delegates for each voting station count the votes, under the supervision of a teacher and the representative from the Ministry of Education, and fill out the corresponding forms. The votes from all stations are tallied and the new president is voted in.
For the first time at El Hogar, the students voted in a female president. Lizzi wanted to be president because she believes that the students of El Hogar have an opinion and she wants to facilitate changes so that all of the students are happy. A strong statement for a quiet fifth grade girl, proving that anyone can be a leader.
When called on stage to accept her new role, Lizzi addressed her peers with confidence and conviction. She thanked them for voting her into this position, welcoming them to approach her if they want to see changes, and promising that she would do her best to make them happen. She expressed her appreciation to the teachers that educate and counsel her, and gratitude for the opportunity to be at El Hogar; a place, she stated, where she can receive an education and can focus on studying, not on helping her parents earn money or worry about how she could get school supplies. Lizzi is very keen to make a difference and has a lot of personal drive to succeed and have a good future.
Lizzi is an example of the confidence that the teachers and staff foster in the children at El Hogar. Voting in a female school council president is a small step in the progression that El Hogar is working towards as the program evolves.
– Erika Skafel, Coordinator of North American Relations
To learn more about El Hogar, please visit our website at www.elhogar.org.