Emily, an Organizing Fellow and high schooler in St. Paul answered a few of our questions.
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I will be a senior in high school in St. Paul. English, French and History are my favorite subjects in school.
Have President Obama's policies had a big impact on you?
President Obama's dedication to making higher education affordable is incredibly important to me as a high schooler starting to think about college. I think it's wrong for students to turn down educational opportunities because of cost. Education is the only way our future leaders will be successful.
Why did you want to become a Summer Organizing Fellow?
I was an Obama supporter from the very start. However, after taking a U.S. History course, I saw so many parallels between the past economies and social struggles and today's world and realized how crucial it was for me to do something more than just vote to get our president re-elected. I also wanted to explore my interest in politics before applying to colleges and learn more about what a campaign actually looks like.
How have you enjoyed your experience?
This experience has taught me about the power of community. I have learned that to make a difference, it takes neighbors talking to neighbors, students talking to students, and people, even if they have many differences, coming together to fight for something they all believe in. I will never forget the feeling of walking into an organizing office and suddenly feeling a wave of positive energy coming from the staff, fellows, and volunteers.
Any favorite memories from the fellowship?
My team's very first meeting and phonebank was incredible. I was expecting maybe five students to show up for a short period of time, but around 15 students showed up ready to work and make a serious contribution to the campaign. I was so happy that somehow, I'd managed to get my classmates interested in volunteering at the very start of summer vacation. This memory really represents my team and the members' enthusiastic approach to re-electing Obama in November.
Especially as a high schooler, why is it important to get young people involved and voting?
Young people are the future and not enough of us are informed about politics or the impact politics has on their daily lives. Voting is a right that women, people of color, and now still, immigrants have had to fight for, and it's important for high school students to be aware of that and take advantage of it. Students are not too young to get involved, they actually are some of the most important components to an election. When we vote, we are voting for our future.