Students make sure everyone is counted

Neha Dhenakula, Rose Peña, Gloria Fortner and Leslie Zarazua, students at Booker T. Washington High School, block-walked for the 2020 Census.
Photo courtesy of Simon Luna

While most high school students are too young to complete a household census themselves, they know that a complete census count has a strong impact on their futures, too. A group of about 50 civic-minded teenagers, led by the nonprofit organization The Concilio, partnered with Dallas County Counts to block walk on October 3. The teenagers fanned out across Pleasant Grove, Bachman Lake and Northeast Dallas, where self-reporting numbers remain behind local and national averages. During the course of three hours, they knocked on more than 500 doors to spread the message about the importance of the 2020 U.S. Census. Florencia Velasco Fortner, The Concilio president and CEO, said, “We want to make sure everyone counts, particularly in these underrepresented neighborhoods. The Census numbers determine funding for schools, roads, hospitals and services as well as congressional representation for Texans to thrive for the next decade.” — Juliette Coulter