About GenerationNation

GenerationNation develops a new generation of civic leaders.

GenerationNation is the only organization focused on K-12 civic literacy in Charlotte. GenerationNation students:

  • Learn first-hand how their governments and communities work
  • Understand and discuss civic issues and different points of view
  • Know how to find and use news and civic information
  • Build social capital, knowledge and experience to be civic leaders who transform their schools, communities and nation for the better…now and for the future.

GenerationNation programs combine K-12 education and real-life experiences that help to narrow civic learning gaps, and include Charlotte-Mecklenburg Youth Council,  Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education Student Advisor, Youth Lead Charlotte-Mecklenburg, the annual student election (still known to many as “Kids Voting”), K-12 civic literacy curriculum, teacher training and support, and other initiatives that build civic literacy and leadership from an early age.

Current events, education trends reducing classroom time dedicated to civic literacy, and learning opportunity gaps impacting under-resourced students make GenerationNation’s mission more important than ever. 

When students become civic ready, they’re learning much more than voting or running for office. Young people learn how to analyze information and use it to make decisions. They are confident communicators who can listen and collaborate. They have diverse social capital networks. They’re civic leaders and problem-solvers who are invested in transforming their schools, neighborhoods, and cities for the better.

GenerationNation is a winner of the American Civic Innovation Award and a national leader in K-12 civic education. Charlotte-Mecklenburg annual impact includes:

  • Over 150 diverse student leaders from 35 high schools (includes 100% of CMS high schools) and 28 zip codes collaborated for 11,500+ hours of civic leadership, education, service, and social capital
  • 180 local schools served with hands-on civic literacy programming, standards-based curriculum, and teacher professional development
  • Tens of thousands of K-12 students practice taking informed civic action by making  student voices heard on candidates and issues, serving as pollworkers, and electing the Student Advisor to the CMS Board of Education

View Charlotte-Mecklenburg Youth Council 2019-20 photo report

Nearly 1 million Charlotte-Mecklenburg students have built and applied civic knowledge and skills through GenerationNation programs. Launched in 1992 by the Charlotte Observer, CMS, and other community stakeholders as a mock election event called Kids Voting, GenerationNation now works year-round through expanded programming and deeper impact.


Kids Voting

Kids Voting (also known as Kids Voting North Carolina and Kids Voting Charlotte Mecklenburg) is now GenerationNation. The education-focused nonprofit organization, founded in 1992, changed its name in December 2011. GenerationNation now works year-round to develop a new generation of civic leaders!