Camina from Nevada had the chance to teach President Obama a bit of Korean when he came to Las Vegas earlier this month:
I was one of the lucky Nevadans who got to meet the President backstage before his grassroots rally in Las Vegas. He greeted me and other supporters with a beaming smile and a big hug. After shaking his hand and telling him what an honor it was to meet him, I asked President Obama if he knew any Korean. He immediately replied, “An-young-ha-se-o.” Surprised and delighted, I asked him if I could teach him a new Korean word. “Sure,” he said.
“Mahnseh! Mahnseh!” I shouted. He repeated it back to me. I told the President he could shout that out on Election Day—“mahnseh” means “victory” in Korean. He grinned and pumped his fist in the air and said, “all right, mahnseh!”
Camina supports Barack Obama because of the same values that drove her to become a social worker:
As a first-generation college graduate, the Korean-born daughter of an Air Force veteran, and the working mother of two children, it was a privilege to meet the man who has done so much for people like me. Growing up in a military family, I learned from a young age to appreciate diversity, value opportunity, and to love hearing people’s stories and guiding them through their struggles. It’s why I became a social worker. To me, nothing can be more rewarding than knowing you’ve made a tangible difference in the life of another person.
That’s why I support President Obama: I admire his vision for our country and I believe he truly cares about the American people. He’s made amazing strides in passing landmark legislation during his short time in office, from pushing for gender equality in the workplace to increasing financial aid for college students. The impact he’s made on our lives is incredible.
She left the rally fired up and ready to get more involved:
My encounter with the President has inspired me to become more active in his re-election. While I do what I can to encourage unregistered voters to register and indifferent voters to vote—and I already drive through the streets of Las Vegas with my Obama-Biden bumper sticker flashing proudly—I know there’s more I could do to support President Obama and keep him in the White House.
Help make sure we’re cheering “Mahnseh! Mahnseh!” on November 6—join AAPIs for Obama on Dashboard to get involved with the campaign in your community.
A version of this post was published on the Nevada blog on September 20.