Community Impact Blog

Ongoing updates, events, and insider’s look at New York Tech’s community work and experiential education projects.

Consultant Spotlight: Luning Chen

Dec 15, 2020

Luning Chen is a freshman at New York Tech who was born in Fujian, China, and raised in Brooklyn. Luning decided to pursue a career in education after working with elementary school students at the Brooklyn Chinese American Association. “I like being able to see the direct impact I have on my students,” she says about the experience of watching her students’ growth within the short time they were in her class.

As part of New York Tech Votes, the campus community was invited to join a Create-A-Thon and submit original content that either provided educational context for registering to vote, how to vote, or prompted communities to get out the vote. Luning designed a sleek infographic with voter eligibility guidelines, resources for polling locations, and instructions on how to cast your ballot. After being awarded first prize for her content, we asked her a few questions about the contest:

How did you decide what to create?

I did not know what to create at first, so I conducted a survey asking my Instagram followers about whether they are registered to vote and if they know about the voting process. I found that over 35% of the participants were not registered because they did not know how to. I wasn’t exactly surprised because most of my followers are around my age, so they are mostly first-time voters too. That’s when I decided that I should create an infographic outlining the entire process from registering to voting on Election Day.

Why did you think this initiative was important?

Living in a democracy, it is important that we use our voices. I am not a citizen and I know many other people who aren’t citizens as well. Since we cannot vote, it is important for us to use our platforms to inform those who can and encourage them to vote. To me, it wasn’t about which side to vote for, it was about getting people who have the privilege of making their voices count to use it.

What did you learn from this experience?

I learned a lot more than just how the election works. Through this project I also touched on the social issue of the youth being misinformed or not informed at all about civics and politics. Especially in my own community, a lot of our families are immigrants, many of our youth were not exposed to US politics from a young age like some other people might have been. We need to start educating people on these matters and let people know that they have the power to change things for the better in their own communities by taking part in politics.