Daley Alumna Uses Art to Promote Census Participation Among Her Peers


Yesenia Licona, a graduate of Richard J. Daley College, is using her artistic talent to spread news about the importance of completing the Census. She realized that her artistic skills, which she credits her mother for, could be used to encourage young people to participate in this important, nationwide survey.

“I thought about the iconic image of Uncle Sam, which is such a part of U.S. culture, and wanted to transform that idea to speak to a younger, more diverse population,” Yesenia said of her census-focused artwork. “So I painted a woman in a similar pose, wearing traditional Mexican floral shirt – it is a nod to living with your culture, but looking to the future. The words ‘you count’ are highlighted because my generation really does count, and we need to take action before we lose school funding and other kinds of representation. We need to make our voices clear and loud, and I hope my painting will inspire that.”

Her words touch on why completing the Census is so important. This survey, which only happens every 10 years, helps the federal government determine how funding is spent across the nation. Responding to the Census means more money for Chicago’s roads, libraries, hospitals, fire departments, and schools—including City Colleges. Thanks to this money, we’re able to give our students grants and scholarships to make a college education more affordable.

Complete the Census online today at my2020census.gov.