I have had a life plan since I was six years old. Though the specifics have grown clearer with age, I have always known that I want to be a lawyer. In high school, I decided that I wanted to be a civil rights lawyer. Junior year of high school, I decided what law schools I wanted to attend. Freshman year of college, I decided that I wanted to graduate in three years and then attend law school immediately afterwards.
Though my overarching plans have not changed, my path toward their ultimate achievement has lengthened. My internship with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network revitalized my love for grassroots organizing. I began the summer intending to graduate and go immediately to law school, but now I hope to graduate and work a campaign for a few years before law school.
The people with whom I worked at ACS CAN discussed their experiences working on campaigns – the highs and the lows – and I realized just how much I envied their experiences. In my few years working on campaigns (both political campaigns and issue campaigns) I have found a love of grassroots organizing. While listening to the people in my department discuss the long hours in unfamiliar towns and states (like Iowa), I realized that I wanted that experience. I want to move to a new place on my own and work day in and day out for a candidate I believe in. I want to knock doors, phone bank, and recruit volunteers. When I commit to something I commit with every fiber of my being, and I cannot imagine a better way to focus my passion and experience than on a political campaign.
Though I know that I want to attend law school and practice civil rights law, I now realize that I will be better off taking time between undergraduate and graduate school. In addition to growing as a person through working for a few years, I also believe that it is important to reenergize before committing to three more years of intensive school.
I hope to use my time working a campaign to rededicate myself to the issues I am most passionate about – criminal justice reform; gun violence prevention; equal access to health care, food, housing, work, and education; and women’s rights. The best way to rebuild my fire is by working for a candidate whom I believe in and want to fight for.
I have a few candidates in mind who I most want to work for, but I do not want to make any decisions before I know who is actually running. No matter what I decide, though, I know I can rely on the Grassroots Campaigns team from ACS CAN to support me and connect me. Without ACS CAN, I may have never realized how important time off is, and I may have never taken advantage of graduating during an election cycle. The people at ACS CAN have helped me develop plans for my future, and I cannot thank them enough for the impact they have had on my life.