Student Shout-Out: Erin and Generation Citizen

Happy New Year! What better way to start off the new year than by celebrating the hard work of one of our Communication Studies majors? Senior COMS major Erin McCroskey recently became the Outreach Director for the USF Chapter of Generation Citizen. It all started with her work this past semester in Professor DeLaure’s COMS 335: Rhetoric of Social Movements service learning course. For the service learning component of the course, Erin worked with Generation Citizen. I asked Erin to tell us more about it.


“Generation Citizen started in Providence, Rhode Island in 2008 and has since expanded all the way out here to the west coast. Generation Citizen works to provide low-income middle school and high school classrooms with the opportunity to directly participate in their local communities government. The students are taught a variety of lessons, all on local government and politics, and then they work as a class to select an issue in their own community that they want to try and fix. They then go on to contact all the local politicians who could potentially help fix this issue.

This past semester I had the pleasure to be selected as  Democracy Coach. I was assigned to a classroom at Paul Revere School located in Hunters Point. My job was to provide these students with all the resources they need to help fix their local issue. My students decided to choose Muni bus safety on the 14L and the 8X. They worked together as a class and got petitions signed, held an assembly at their school, created posters and hung them around the school, went to a CAC meeting at SFMTA where they stood up and presented their ideas and even met with the Director of Transportation at SFMTA, Ed Reiskin. It was at this meeting that they were able to convince Ed to increase security on these buses. I have never been so proud of a group of middle school students in my entire life!”

Erin’s experience really highlights why service learning is such an integral part of our curriculum here at USF. Congratulations, Erin, and all of her students on such a successful campaign to improve bus safety!

You can find out more about Generation Citizen here: http://generationcitizen.org/ or you can contact Erin, the Outreach Director, at erinchristine@comcast.net. You can learn more about the program and apply to be a volunteer.

Thanks, Erin, for sharing your story! We are so proud of you and your students!


Generation Citizen Outreach Coordinator (and COMS major!) Erin