I have supported President Obama for a long time, but never to the extent that I would go out and volunteer for him. I was only 13 during the 2008 campaign and I wasn’t exactly mature enough to handle that responsibility. Over the past few years, I’ve grown more aware of the challenges we face and I’ve realized that we must re-elect President Barack Obama now more than ever.
So, when President Obama announced his re-election campaign, I knew that I wanted to volunteer. Last spring, I applied for the Obama for America Summer Organizing program, a program designed to train a new generation of community organizers. It seemed like a great way to spend my summer. I didn’t get into the program, but I still signed up for volunteer events through the My Barack Obama events page. I joined my neighbors to talk about our common purpose and working together to reach a common goal. It became very clear that it was going to take more than just my attendance to make a change; it was going to take my time and dedication.
I was most struck my the advice of an older volunteer named Ruth. She told me that us young people are the future and our decisions today will affect us in the future, and that we must work to improve our country. She told us to envision what we want our country to look like in five years and to fight and work towards that image because she might not be here to see it accomplished. Ruth's speech truly inspired me. Young people need to get involved in the political process and the leaders of tomorrow need to organize today because there is too much at stake.
Since then, I kept donating my time, making phone calls, and talking to my friends and family about the campaign, regardless of whether or not I was a part of a campaign training program. I spent most of my time reaching out to voters and mobilizing support for then LA City Councilwoman Janice Hahn’s congressional campaign. The day she won the special election was the day I witnessed all my time and energy pay off.
Soon after, a new organizing program was launched: the Fall Fellows Program. I was accepted to the program because of all the hard work I put in over the summer. Without a doubt, organizing for the President has been, and will continue to be, one of the greatest experiences of my life.