I originally was opposed to applying for the Ward Fellowship. I did not think that I had any real chance of being accepted if I applied. Throughout high school I struggled with math. I ended up having to repeat my junior year, which was a challenging experience academically and personally. Repeating my junior year made me seriously doubt my ability to be successful. I needed an experience to push me and challenge me in a different way than Boston Latin School had. I found that challenge on my first campaign, John Connolly’s campaign for Mayor of Boston. My candidate ultimately lost, but that is not what matters now. The experience was still incredibly meaningful to me. I learned so much about public policy and campaigning and I was good at what I was doing. The hours were long. It was an entirely unglamorous job; but, regardless, I fell in love with it. Working on a campaign was exciting. I liked feeling like I was part of a much larger political narrative. My candidate eventually lost. But in his concession speech, he said something, “to all the young people working on their very first campaign…Don’t give up. You’ve got to stay in this fight. You’ve got to keep pushing those tough issues. You’ve got to keep pushing those big issues. And someday, I want to be standing out there, watching you up here, except we’re all going to be cheering.”
Two years later, I’ve stayed in the fight. But, in order to fight for the issues that matter, I need to learn a lot more. I have tried to treat every experience as a learning experience. It makes potentially dull situations more enriching. So now I am headed to Suffolk University in the fall. My passion for politics has lead me to pursue a double major in Government (with a concentration in American Political Science) and Communications.
While on the Connolly campaign in 2013, I met City Councilor Matt O’Malley, who was involved in the campaign. After the campaign ended I maintained a relationship with both the Councilor and his staff. I appreciated and valued the mentorship that I received from them. So when Councilor O’Malley encouraged me to apply for the fellowship, I took it seriously. He, himself, had been a fellow and maintains that it was one of the most rewarding experiences of his high school and early professional career.
So why am I even interested in this frustrating and complicated field of politics? It s something that I am always thinking about. I can not imagine not pursuing a careering the political sphere. That being said, I never see myself running for office. I believe that, personally, I can get more done working behind the scenes than running for office. I want to maintain a seat at the table to political discussions. Politics allow for progress. And looking forward there are issues I feel personally compelled to progress, and I want to do that as effectively as possible. I firmly believe that everyone has a right to an outstanding eduction. It should not be out of the norm for a public school to outrank a private school. Students should be given the tools they need to have a successful life, regardless of circumstance. Access to, and quality of education, should not be a privilege. In addition to education, I am also passionate about environmental issues and gun reform. I am excited to move explore these policies further throughout my academic and professional career. I am incredibly grateful for all the opportunities that have allowed me to discover my passion and direction so early in life. And with that direction, and the knowledge that I will continue to glean, I will move forward.