Civic Engagement

Politics student discusses healthcare with Presidents Biden and Obama

Passionate about politics and issues affecting young voters, Ashleigh Ewald ’24 was recently invited to speak with President Joe Biden, President Barack Obama, and Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi on a national organizing call for the 14th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act.

Ashleigh Ewald with the National Political Director of Voters of Tomorrow Jackson Hurley (left) and founder of Voters of Tomorrow Santiago Mayer (right).

The opportunity was a result of Ewald’s role as state director of the Georgia chapter of Voters of Tomorrow, a Gen Z-led nonprofit that engages young Americans in politics and government to help their voices be heard. President Biden’s team was seeking a young activist from Georgia to participate and Voters of Tomorrow Executive Director and Founder Santiago Mayer recommended Ewald.

On the live video call, Ewald spoke about the importance of protecting affordable healthcare and the value of the Affordable Care Act allowing young adults to stay on a parent’s insurance plan until they are 26 years old.

The politics major is hopeful that government officials will continue to view Generation Z as leaders and the future change of the United States.

“This is bigger than me, and that unforgettable experience means that we have people advocating for the well-being of Generation Z,” says Ewald.

“That alone is reassuring that we will turn out, and that people like President Obama, President Biden, and Speaker Pelosi want young people to have a seat at the table.”

On campus, Ewald has dedicated much of her time to being an active and civically engaged member of the OU community while also building an enthusiasm for politics. Ewald is president of OU Petrels for Democracy and while serving as Student Government Association President spearheaded initiatives like honoring OU faculty and staff and collaborating with Georgia State University’s SGA to register students to vote.

Ewald attributes her achievements to maintaining meaningful connections with others and taking action to accomplish her goals.

“It is too easy for young people to profess they want something or want to do this and that, but action afterward shows that person’s true intentions. Being a person of your word, believing in yourself, and networking will get young people far in the political industry.”

Watch the full video of the national organizing call below, with Ewald introduced at approximately 10:40.

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