At first, I was really nervous – I was speaking in front of thousands of people, including my family, some friends and a few elected officials. But then President Obama came backstage. He said hello, smiled warmly, shook my hand, asked me about my school and where I work, and he wished me good luck.
Suddenly I felt a surge of confidence. I wasn’t nervous at all. I was ready – ready to introduce the President of the United States to a crowd of 11,000 at a grassroots rally at Desert Pine High School in Las Vegas.
It was an honor and a privilege to have been selected for that role. I got to share with so many Nevadans my personal story and why I support President Obama. As my first time meeting the President, it was one of the most exciting nights of my life. But the excitement doesn’t stop there. In a few weeks, I will be casting my first vote, and I’ll be voting for Barack Obama.
As a first-generation college student, I know how hard it is to pay for tuition (and books, and room, and transportation). By expanding tax credits and increasing Pell grant funding President Obama has made it easier for a lot of students, including me, to afford school. He cares about our education – about my education.
I also support President Obama because he supports passing the DREAM Act for undocumented youth. I know many DREAMers. I see them working hard, trying to contribute to their country – the same as other Americans. They’ve grown up with our culture, our language, our education; they know no other home. I’m glad President Obama agrees with me.
When I met President Obama, I could sense what he stood for in the way he treated me – being open to helping people, giving every American a fair shot, treating everybody as an equal. He was so nice, so humble, so willing to comfort a nervous 19-year-old. The experience reaffirmed what I’d known before: President Obama has a clear vision for getting our country back to its feet and moving us forward.
I’m excited to cast my first vote for President Obama. As a woman, a young adult and a Latina, I understand how far we’ve come to get the right to vote; I feel it’s my duty to take full advantage of that right. If I don’t vote, I don’t have a voice.
And I’m committed to using my voice this November the way I did introducing the President eight days ago: to show my support for Barack Obama.