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Matthew Segal '08 is the founder and president of OurTime.org, a voter and economic empowerment organization for Americans under 30. "Our goals are to unite young people in a collective membership organization to stand up for our rights and to educate young adults about the issues that affect them every day," he said. "Our generation is the largest in American history—larger than the Baby Boomers—yet we are overlooked and under-represented in the public policy process." Segal's organization, which helped register more than 300,000 voters for the 2012 presidential election, advocates for youth jobs and work-force training and summarizes relevant news content for young people on a daily basis.
How a Kenyon education helped
The Kenyon classroom broke down rigid vantage points and taught me to think more creatively and imaginatively and consider the broader consequences of issues. You cannot live in the political world anymore and think on a binary track down party lines. I never analyze issues as a Democrat or a Republican, but as a free thinker. The Kenyon classroom enabled me to write and speak with clarity, giving me the confidence to appear on TV as a political commentator.
Key Kenyon experience
During the 2004 presidential election, Kenyon had the longest lines in the country. Some students waited up to 12 hours to vote. The obstacles hindering our democracy spurred me to fight for voter reform and other rights for young people, and was the impetus for founding OurTime.org.
I think Kenyon is a unique community of advanced people. It became apparent to me from visiting the campus as a prospective student; I saw people who were excited about asking bigger questions.
Outside the job
I'm a big Bob Dylan fan and I've seen him in concert all over the world—about 100 times. For the last 10 years, I have been traveling to places ranging from London, England, to Roanoke, Virginia, to see his shows. Dylan is quintessential poet-philosopher who embodies much of what Kenyon stands for.