June 6, 2019
Read time : 5 min

In this blog series we are highlighting our 2018-2019 Up to Us Competition top 5 finalists! These emerging leaders are passionate millennials who care about our country's fiscal future and are brave enough to tackle a complex topic like the long-term national debt through creative bipartisan activities. 

This blog will share how the San Francisco State University Up to Us team created a movement on campus:

San Francisco State University Up to Us team giving a lecture.
Nathan and his team talking to students about the national debt.

Team leader, Nathan Bowman led the San Francisco State University team which consisted of members Bianca Mendoza, Carmen Tirado, Saharai Salas, and Riley Smith. Nathan and his team connected with resident students by hosting events on campus, commuter students by talking to students in classrooms, and by having virtual presentations in online classes. “National debt relates to more than just economics, so we spoke to a variety of classes across the university,” explains Nathan. 

This year, My Two Cents Day (MTCD) coincided with the Midterm election week. Their team decided to host a “Week of My Two Cents Day Activities” while discussing the importance of civic engagement and issues surrounding the national debt. To kick off the week, the team was interviewed by the campus newspaper to share their thoughts on the upcoming elections and the long-term effects of the national debt. On MTCD, the team informed students on how the national debt can impact their future by hosting a two-part event including a workshop and an informative tabling event that allowed them to engage with over 150 students. Both events were dedicated to getting students informed about fiscal policy and the significance of democratic learning. 

The team also hosted a field trip with the Economics Student Association to the Federal Reserve Bank in San Francisco to view the currency exhibit and the evolution of the US dollar. 

San Francisco State University Up to Us team with their pumpkins.
Members of the team with their Wildcard activity pumpkins.

For their Wildcard activity, Nathan and his team hosted a Halloween themed event. On Halloween, they spent the day giving away pumpkins to students who engaged with the team in a discussion regarding fiscal policy and the national debt. “On this day, we saw the passion that lives within the community on our campus and we were able to come to the conclusion that our peers are looking to advocate for solutions to create a fiscally responsible future,” says Nathan. 

Nathan and his team had to overcome numerous challenges throughout the competition including conflicting personalities, administrative setbacks, and even issues with air quality due to the wildfires spreading through California at the time. The team even spent time handing out masks as a way to help their community members get through the horrible air quality caused by the fires. 

“Our team made it a priority to remember that we all took part in this campaign to advocate for issues that we care about, so we can become the next generation of changemakers.” Nathan Bowman, San Francisco State University Up to Us team leader.

They finished their campaign with a short documentary highlighting the their journey through the Up to Us competition.The documentary consists of students, faculty, team members and even clubs that they partnered with throughout the campaign. The video underlines the impacts that were made on campus and highlights how the members were able to grow as a team. 

Watch their video here:

We are so proud of what the San Francisco State University team, and all of the Up to Us Competition teams, accomplished this year!