A North Carolina teen has gone viral this weekend for using the success of Popeyes chicken sandwich as an opportunity to get his community civically engaged.
Last week, after Popeyes announced that its crispy chicken sandwich was now available nation wide, they become embroiled in a war of words with fast food competitors Chick-fil-A and Wendy’s causing #ChickenWars and #ChickenSandwichTwitter to trend on social media.
“We were seeing how long the lines were [at Popeyes] and figured we would try to go get individuals to vote,” Ledbetter told CNN. “I was just hoping that the individuals would register to vote.”
A Smart Strategy
Before executing his plans, the high school senior did his due diligence by workshopping brainstormed the voter engagement idea with a local attorney, Stephanie Sneed, who is currently running for the local school board. Together they came up with the most effective course of action.
“We had been talking about the great chicken sandwich debate,” explains Sneed. “We came up with the idea to go to Popeyes because of the large number of people waiting in lines.”
Sneed also pointed out that Ledbetter’s engaging personality played a big role in getting patrons to actually participate and accept the forms.
“Because he’s young, he has a new perspective on candidates engaging with young people,” she said. “He’s already engaged and it’s in his makeup.”
This isn’t the young man’s first attempt to reach his community, he’s also co-founded a local organization called Imagine This which he is in the process of turning into a nonprofit that helps Charlotte students gain access to college.
Although Ledbetter is only 17, he’s already pre-registered to vote for when he turns 18.
“I like engaging with the community,” he concluded. “And I have aspirations with helping people and making society a better as a whole.”