Editor, The Messenger:

Growing up with a single mom, I’ve seen her work tirelessly to provide me with the best life possible. When I decided to go college, my mom and I both tried to figure out how I’d pay the tuition.

Through some research, we learned about Pell Grants. And by applying for FAFSA, I got access to a Pell Grant, which allowed me to attend college and focus on valuable experiences, rather than worry about accruing college debt.

None of this would have been possible without the U.S. Census Bureau. I learned the importance of surveys because of them. Now as the managing director of “Bobcats, Get on the Map,” a campaign that aims to inform and educate Ohio University students and Athens renters about the U.S. 2020 census, I plan to do the same.

I urge Ohio University students, especially the historically difficult to reach renters, to fill out the U.S. 2020 census, so that our community can receive appropriate funding for schools, hospitals, emergency services, public libraries and other vital public works. The census also helps determine congressional representation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the 2018 national poverty rate was 11.8%, while the average poverty rate in Athens County was 30%, the highest in the state. By taking the census, available online, phone or by mail, the residents can help Athens County get more funding for state and local governments.

The census is an easy way for residents to give back to their communities, so everyone should take it today!

Vivan Moussa

Athens

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