With the upcoming presidential election flooding American news, high schoolers are exposed to politics more than ever. This exposure has resulted in student involvement in the election. Senior Priya Sundaresan signed up for unpaid internships with congressional candidate Ro Khanna to connect with her community and learn more about the election.
After receiving a campaign call from Khanna’s own mother, Sundaresan looked further into Khanna’s campaign. Sundaresan feels it is important to get involved because many of her friends are now eligible to vote. Discovering many of her political stances align with Khanna’s, she contacted his field director in the Bay Area and interviewed for
As an intern, Sundaresan goes door to door and calls potential voters to help educate people on Khanna’s campaign. She learned the workings of a campaign, like how much analytics were involved and how messy the media can get during a campaign.
Sundaresan realized how harsh political campaigning really is after getting the door slammed in her face. Sundaresan has enjoyed the internship for many reasons, including the opportunity to push herself out of her comfort zone.
“Talking to random strangers and encouraging them to think or do things they’re not totally comfortable with is a huge step outside of my comfort zone, so I think I’ve learned a lot about how to approach people and articulate myself,” Sundaresan said.
Through interactions with Khanna, Sundaresan is reminded that he is just a person like everybody else. She expressed that everyone who works in the campaign is down to earth. Sundaresan feels empowered by the student driven culture of the campaign, especially because it was started by Khanna and two high school students.
“Seeing all these motivated, driven kids around me, many of whom have been on the campaign since the primaries, has made me want to rise to their level,” Sundaresan said.