Kaylee Tyner, a junior at Marymount University studying political science, has been announced as a member of Campus Compact’s 2021-2022 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows. She joins 212 students from 39 states, Washington, D.C., and Mexico in the year-long program for campus leaders who demonstrate a commitment to finding solutions for challenges facing communities locally, nationally and internationally.
Tyner, originally from Littleton, Colo. and a graduate of Columbine High School, is a student leader and passionate advocate for the gun violence prevention movement. For the past three years, she has served as an executive council member for Team ENOUGH, and has lobbied on numerous policies that aim towards decreasing gun violence on local and national levels.
In her work, Tyner encourages young people to get involved by helping them register to vote and engage with issues that directly impact their communities. In 2019, she launched #MyLastShot, which gained national attention for reaching over 20,000 people with the heart-wrenching message that young people give consent to have images of their death publicized in the event they die from gun violence.
“As a leader working towards addressing the root causes of social injustices, I have discovered that I can’t wait around for other people to change the world – I have to actively be a part of the change,” Tyner said.
She currently leads a group of youth organizers in creating a culturally responsive gun violence prevention organizing guide. This guide aims to be a comprehensive tool for youth organizers, which will showcase how identities are affected by gun violence, how different gun violence prevention policies affect communities differently and how to use that knowledge to be a culturally responsive leader.
“I recognize my individual power to change the world, but also my potential to continue to grow as a leader and in my strategies to address social justice issues such as gun violence,” Tyner added. “I aim towards creating projects in the future that will allocate funding and resources for grassroots organizations in my own community and others that are constantly affected by things such as everyday gun violence and police brutality.”
The Newman Civic Fellowship is named for the late Frank Newman, one of Campus Compact’s founders and a tireless advocate for civic engagement in higher education. In the spirit of Dr. Newman’s leadership, Campus Compact member presidents and chancellors nominate student leaders from their campuses to be named Newman Civic Fellows.
“Kaylee strives to use her story to teach people that the effects and trauma of gun violence last multiple generations,” explained Dr. Irma Becerra, President of Marymount University. “We are so proud of Marymount Saints like Kaylee who exemplify student leadership both on our campus and off of it, and dedicate themselves to changing society for the better.”
Through the Fellowship, Campus Compact provides fellows with a variety of learning and networking opportunities that emphasize personal, professional and civic growth. Each year, fellows participate in numerous virtual training and networking opportunities to help provide them with the skills and connections they need to create large-scale positive change. The cornerstone of the Fellowship is the Annual Convening of Fellows, which offers intensive skill-building and networking over the course of two days. The Fellowship also provides fellows with pathways to apply for exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities.
“We are proud to recognize these extraordinary student leaders and thrilled to engage with them,” said Campus Compact President Andrew Seligsohn. “The experience of the last year has driven home to all of us that we need open-minded, innovative, public-spirited thinkers and doers. That is what Campus Compact is about, and the stories of our Newman Civic Fellows demonstrate it’s who they are.”