Shondra M., a former Organizing Fellow, stopped by for a visit at the Obama for America - Louisiana Headquarters while she was in town for a professional career training. When she was here she shared her Organizing Fellow story along with some best practices for current and future Organizing Fellows
When I was an Organizing Fellow in the fall of 2011 I was also a full-time student at Louisiana Tech. I was a senior at the time and it was my last semester before graduation. It seemed as though I had the hardest courses one could ever imagine. As a fellow, I was responsible for organizing my university and two additional universities within the I-20 corridor in North Louisiana.
As an Organizing Fellow I would often times find myself pushed beyond what seemed like impossible limits. I found myself really stretched with school, community organizing, building teams, and other Organizing Fellow duties and responsibilities. However, I pushed through it all and finished both my Obama Organizing fellowship and college successfully.
The skills I learned as an Organizing Fellow have been invaluable, and helped me secure opportunities after college that allowed me to jump start my career as a leader, community organizer, and field organizer.
My advice to current and future Organizing Fellows is to never give up, no matter what! The work that you do is so important and very vital to the local community, your state, and the nation. Everyone may have different reasons and purposes for becoming an Organizing Fellow but always remember that everything that you do or do not do on a daily bases matters and will make a difference in overall outcome.
If at the end of each day you honestly know that you have done all you can possibly do to make a difference by being people focused and metric driven, you will be successful as an Organizing Fellow and your hard work will pay off in ways you may never have imagined.
Sure, there were so many times when I wanted to just quit, because I felt completely in over my head. However, looking back I am glad I finished my commitment. I also can see how valuable the campus organizing and community support built when I was an Organizing Fellow. Those things that we accomplished were stepping stones and building blocks for the next group of organizers who will make a big difference in the outcome of the campaign while strengthening support of the Democratic Party as a whole.
I'm proud of the work that our group of Organizing Fellows were able to do in the Fall of 2011. We made a positive impact and we made a difference, now it's your time. Good luck and keep moving Forward!--Shondra M.