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“You have the opportunity to capitalize on everything that life presents to you — but it’s up to you and the mindset you have and the actions that follow.”

That was the message brought to Bronx Community College campus on Thursday, October 11, by Jevin Hodge, vice-chair of Arizona’s Democratic party. Mr. Hodge was the guest speaker at a pre-midterms academic pep rally for students in BCC’s Accelerated Study in Associate programs. “This event is meant for you guys,” said ASAP student Ian Astacio to 150 of his classmates. “To reassure you, remotivate you and re-energize you — for the rest of the semester, for life and for any future goals you may have.”

Co-hosted by the Male Empowerment Network (MEN), the afternoon included comments by Nathaniel Smith and Nadine Browne of BCC’s ASAP and Junior Cabral from MEN, songs by student Santana Sankofa, lunch — even a raffle of pens, MetroCard holders, key chains and other ASAP swag.

But the main event was Mr. Hodge, who travels the nation as a national engagement consultant, particularly for millennials — among whose number he counts himself, for at 24 he is the youngest African-American state-level Democratic party official in the country. His words and stories and vision were enthusiastically applauded by the Nichols Hall audience.

“My job is to inspire people to participate in our democracy, to engage civically,” said Mr. Hodge. “All people are coming to the table to have a voice, to use their vote – it’s about committing yourself to making the world a better place in the spaces you operate in.” In that capacity, he urged his audience “Speak truth to power in every state that you’re in. Advocate for yourself and your people.”

“Education is the route to building a foundation that our society can stand on,” he added — an idea embodied by the dedicated students who heard his message

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