Now that the protesters have slimmed down in numbers and the hashtags aren’t being used as often, what’s next? What can the women of North Carolina do to ensure their voices are heard? The women who have families and speak for others. Andrea McCullough asked herself the same question and came up with an answer for all of us. She is the founder and creative mind behind the Power to Vote: Yours Matter movement. It is her project to inform the voters of North Carolina not just about their opportunity to effect change but also their true power.
Originally from Raleigh, Andrea was born to inspire, encourage, uplift, and serve her community. She is a highly sought-after mentor, community advocate, motivational speaker, trailblazer. As an educator and mentor, Andrea stands out. She has served both men and women of all ages and walked with them toward their highest potential. As a student with a diploma or as a parent navigating the ever-changing parenthood scenario.
She is a graduate of Needham Broughton High School and credentialed as a Parent Advocate and Group Facilitator, CPR/First Aid certified by the American Heart Association, and she is fully trained as a Stewards of Children Advocate. For more than 15 years, Andrea has been in the field of Special Education. Through her work in public schools, Disability Services, and Services for the Blind, she has guided others to use their intellect and strength to improve their lives and that of others around them. She has also worked for over 20 years as a Parent Liaison and Community Advocate for underserved communities.
Andrea currently serves as the Bridge Parent Advocate Coordinator with Accelerating Men, Inc., Secretary for the Real Lives of the Women of Raleigh, a member of the Singles’ Life Group of Mt. Zion Church, Cary, NC, and greeter for Raleigh North Christian Center. Additionally, Andrea is a single mother of two children and grandmother of two. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends. She is and has always been committed to serving single mothers, children with disabilities, and ensuring that individuals recognize the power of their voice.
I asked Ms. McCullough why she thought the Power the Vote initiative was necessary. “Since COVID-19, we all have had to deal with some situations that we could have never imagined in this lifetime. I was given the idea for a t-shirt about three months before COVID-19 through inspiration on the word that my pastor was preaching: Adversity Creates Opportunity. A few months into COVID-19, I decided to step out and go ahead and make the t-shirt. The t-shirt became more meaningful because I realized I wasn’t always in agreement with decisions my government was deciding on my behalf on all levels, national, state, city, and district. The inspiration for a t-shirt eventually evolved and became a movement.”
Some of the goals Ms. McCollough has for her program are first and foremost to increase voter participation and get voters to actually vote … “by making them aware that their one individual vote has the power and influence to make a change in their communities. I also want to give citizens awareness on the issues and knowledge of who the people are who are in seats and positions to change that.” She is doing her best to use this platform to provide information about current events that affect their communities. It’s important to note that this nonpartisan project does not show favoritism to any particular candidate or party. Andrea simply wants voters to know their choices and vote.
Seems easy, right? Simple, yet extremely valuable concept. But it hasn’t been easy. Since starting this campaign in May of this year, Ms. McCullough has had to become a student herself. Refreshing her skills about running the business aspect of a strategy like this. She felt she lacked the ability to be able to do basic steps such as use technology as effectively as possible. It was challenging to do projects she never imagined were possible on her behalf. She had to learn to become a listening learner as well. Not having the ability to sit and meet with those who were guiding her to complete the necessary tasks to ensure the fulfillment of her plan wasn’t easy. “I needed to do it in order to complete what was in front of me so I could move on to the next step and keep it moving.”
You would think with something like this there would be discouragers. That has not been the case for POWER THE VOTE: YOURS MATTER. With a small circle of people surrounding and supporting her in various ways, the project has had a wonderful and successful launch. “They all knew what they had and needed to give me. There were many, many times of uncertainty due to my lack of knowledge with technology and personal financial resources. But my team has kept me focused. They are my village of supporters who believed in me and the movement even before I did.”
So, what is it that Andrea McCullough wants you to know about this campaign? She, first of all, wants North Carolina to know it is a movement. It’s the next step after walking in a protest, signing a petition, and even communicating with community leaders. A single vote is extremely powerful. “People need to know their vote is so powerful that it can change the world that we currently live in as we know it for our good as a whole. With that knowledge, my goal of 100% voter participation is absolutely possible.”
- Subscribe to the website
- Become informed on all elected positions
- Learn about the candidates
- Take actions on issues
- Purchase a t-shirt
- Get THREE friends to vote
- Hold a voter registration drive
NaShonda just recently finished her 20th year teaching in North Carolina Public Schools. Arriving by way of Pennsylvania, she enjoys working with students of all ages and abilities. She’s been featured in TIME magazine for her continued advocacy to improve public education. She lives in Wake County.