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NC Teen Founds Political Action Committee

"DD" Adams of Winston-Salem is running for a seat in Congress and is one of four candidates endorsed by the Youth Global Advocacy PAC. (DD Adams/Flickr)
"DD" Adams of Winston-Salem is running for a seat in Congress and is one of four candidates endorsed by the Youth Global Advocacy PAC. (DD Adams/Flickr)
January 19, 2018

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – At a time when civic engagement is heightened across the country, a North Carolina teen has taken a big step to participate in the political process.

Fifteen-year-old Ryan Hubbard of Charlotte founded the Youth Global Advocacy Political Action Committee
last year. The group now has 15 members and has endorsed four candidates so far. Hubbard says his PAC was born out of a desire to be respected in the political process.

"I've had experience with this working on campaigns,” says Hubbard. “I wouldn't say discrimination, but definitely because of my age, people tend to not take me seriously – so definitely, this PAC is an outlet for youth to feel comfortable."

The Youth Global Advocacy PAC has endorsed two candidates in Illinois, one in Florida and Denise "DD" Adams, who's running for Congress in North Carolina's 5th District. Hubbard says the goal of YGA is to give young people the opportunity to gain exposure to advocacy and campaigns, and he'd like to increase youth civic engagement across the country.

Adams, from Winston-Salem, says she is thrilled to get support from a young person from her state.

"I was humbled by it,” she says. “We can't wait until they become 18 to vote to get them plugged in to how important it is for them to have some semblance of what the issues are."

Hubbard says YGA has very specific qualities it looks for in its candidates.

"Definitely a strong stance on youth civic engagement and a strong stance on social issues, including paid family medical leave, LGBTQ issues, African-American rights issues, et cetera,” says Hubbard. “So that's something we definitely look into when we endorse."

Hubbard says he's seeking donations for his PAC – and also volunteer members and leaders to support the effort, as his group prepares for the 2018 midterm elections.

Reporting by North Carolina News Connection in association with Media in the Public Interest and funded in part by the Park Foundation.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - NC