Starting off at UNH, most students don’t have a lot of experience in their major. With that in mind, imagine being a freshman political science major and attending the recent Democratic National Convention as a page to the New Hampshire delegation. Also imagine working on President Obama’s campaign this past summer, or giving a speech at the New Hampshire Democratic state convention and meeting the president himself. It sounds impossible for someone just starting his or her college career, but it is exactly what UNH freshman Emily Gold did.
Gold, who is originally from Manchester, first became interested in politics when President Obama spoke at her high school last November.
“I was not very interested in politics before that, but his speech inspired me to get involved,” Gold said. “I signed up to volunteer with the campaign and started doing so in December.”
Then, this past February, she was given the opportunity to introduce Sen. Jeanne Shaheen during Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to New Hampshire. While at the event, Raymond Buckley, state chairman for the New Hampshire Democratic party, took notice of Gold and asked if she would be interested in attending the DNC. She said she happily accepted.
“I was unbelievably excited,” Gold said. “By that time, I was interested in eventually pursuing a career in politics. Having the opportunity to go to the DNC not only as a guest, but as a credentialed member of the delegation is like a political science major’s version of Willy Wonka’s golden ticket,” she said.
As page to the N.H. Delegation, Gold assisted the event in any way they needed. She was able to attend committee meetings and participate in other convention activities. She also got to be immersed in what she loves and experience politics and democracy firsthand.
“The most memorable part about going to the DNC was the energy on the floor,” Gold said. “I not only got to hear many amazing speeches in person, but I was also able to stand and cheer with thousands of other people who are just as enthusiastic about politics as I am. I saw democracy in action, and it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever been able to witness.”
Gold was also given the opportunity to meet Obama earlier this summer when he visited Durham.
“It was a surreal experience,” she said. “Even though he is one of the most powerful men in the world, he was so down-to-earth and genuine.”
Gold said she supports Obama for many reasons, including his views on health-care reform. She said she believes that Obama has America’s best interests in mind and that he truly cares about the welfare of the country.
Gold said there are many factors driving her passion for politics.
“My favorite part about politics is being able to exercise a right that some people can only dream of,” Gold said. “I am able to publicize my opinion and speak my mind in the hopes of re-electing the president. Some people in other countries are not even able to vote, let alone exercise free speech. I make sure not to take my rights as an American citizen for granted.”
Gold said she wishes that more young people would take an interest in politics and get involved, especially now with the presidential election coming up. She is a strong believer in the idea that every vote counts and that students have the power to choose the direction that our country will go in. She said it has been a great experience for her and she believes others would feel the same in her position.
“Personally, advocating for President Obama’s re-election has been a life-changing experience,” Gold said. “It has made me realize my true calling.”