Mary has no trouble identifying why she has the president's back: social justice and the Affordable Care Act!
After graduating from Notre Dame in 2005, Mary spent three years with Teach for America working in an elementary school classroom in a low-income area of St. Louis. That classroom experience spurred her interest in community organizing. She feels that the president's views on education are in line with her own.
"Barack Obama just gets it. He gets that we're not going to improve our economy until we get our education system in order. All social issues are eventually tied to education."
Mary learned about the fellows program last year and thought it sounded like the perfect opportunity to gain the skills, experiences, and contacts she needed to advance her career in organizing. She has held a variety of responsibilities including office manager and community organizer during her time with the campaign and reports that the experience has been everything she hoped it would be.
Mary's support of the president is also intensely personal. She describes the Affordable Care Act as "a law that is so important to me" and speaks with relief about the provisions it will put in place to prevent adults from being denied coverage for pre-existing conditions and hitting lifetime limits. Above all, she sees the president as a man of strong character.
"I remember seeing Barack Obama when he was a guest on the Oprah Winfrey show while he was in the US Senate. Everybody wanted to hear him declare his candidacy for the presidency, but instead he used the show as an opportunity to talk about the importance of empathy."
"That's who he is: a real person with the ability to empathize with people's situations. Understanding other people's lives as more than just abstract stories is so important."
Join Mary on the campaign and apply to be a Fall Organizing Fellow today!