HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. - It's not often that 100 percent of high school seniors are registered to vote, but that is not the case in Hedgesville, which is why the high school was awarded the Jennings Randolph School Award.
Hedgesville High School is just one of 15 schools across the state of West Virginia to receive the award.
The Jennings Randolph Award dates back to the 1940's when then Congressman Randolph first introduced the 26th Amendment to the United States, which allows 18-year-olds the right to vote.
"West Virginia has been on the leading edge of these things, fighting for freedom and democracy, going back to revolutionary times,” said West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner.
Now in 2017, West Virginians continue to fight for freedom and democracy.
Take seniors Nicholas Miller and Maureen Budka for example; these students spearheaded the effort to register all eligible students.
"Hopefully, it makes the voice of the younger generation heard. Now that we've done the harder part for them, registering to vote, they can just go to the polls and vote for the politician that agrees with their views,” said senior, Hedgesville High School, Maureen Budka.
Over the course of eight months, Miller and Budka went classroom by classroom urging students to register.
"We went around to our civics classes at our school, and we just got in touch with students about why it's important for them to be voting, because they're so underrepresented today,” said senior, Hedgesville High School, Nicholas Miller.
In Warner’s first 100 days in office, over 11,000 voters have been registered. Now, adding to that list are the 270 seniors and some juniors at Hedgesville High School.
"It’s all coming together [at] Hedgesville High School, and I’m pleased to be a small part of it,” said Warner.
Warner said that now each school has the challenge to remain a Jennings Randolph School for years to come.