Young Invincibles is generally a term used to describe individuals between the ages of 18 and 29 who don’t purchase health insurance because they don’t think anything bad can happen to them.
In this case, Young Invincibles is “a national research and advocacy organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunity to young adults and involving them in the political process,” Tom Allison, deputy policy and research director for Young Invincibles, said.
“We’ve been around for about eight years and do traditional policy and advocacy work, trying to advance policies that will make college more affordable, improve young people’s health care choices and their career prospects,” Allison said. “We do that nationally and at the state level, and do a lot of work on the ground as well to try to get young people involved and tell their stories to policymakers and the media.”
Recently, Young Invincibles has gained more political traction in issues surrounding postsecondary data infrastructure reform with the College Transparency Act. This act made statistics surrounding universities, majors offered and salaries for jobs they acquire visible to prospective students.
“In a nutshell, the College Transparency Act connects already existing datasets involving education and the workforce, so that students can make a more informed decision about where they go to school and how they pay for it,” Allison said.
On Nov. 1, the bill was presented on the floor of the House of Representatives by politicians from across the country.
“What was really cool was students from around the country filmed their own floor speeches as if they were members of Congress, and explained why they support the bill too, just to show support to the legislators that were co-sponsoring the bill,” Allison said.
Allison also said he wants students to recognize how valuable their voices are. “I really want to emphasize how important it is for students to get involved,” Allison said.
Opponents to the bill have expressed concerns over privacy for students. “A lot of the opponents to the bill might say it’s a violation of student privacy, and we take student privacy very seriously, but it shouldn’t be a reason to bury our heads in the sand,” Allison said. “More importantly, I think it’s just absolutely crucial that students raise their voices on this issue and say, ‘Privacy is important to me, but so is the $50,000 I’m taking on in debt to go to college and I want to be able to know where that money is going.’”
Allison said that everyone knows that college is important and is the “best investment someone could make into their economic future.”
“We know that people with a college degree are less likely to be unemployed, [more likely to] make more money and have good benefits at their job,” Allison said. “But at the same time, college has never been more expensive, and there are a lot of college graduates who are not seeing the return on their investment that they would’ve liked. In some cases, it’s really not their fault because our system doesn’t connect what goes into higher education with what comes out.”
Story by: Jackie Park, News Reporter
Photo submitted from Young Invincibles