Mia Ventola, Brewster Academy ninth grader, spent part of her fall volunteering for Hilary Clinton’s New Hampshire primary campaign.
Brewster history teacher T.J. Palmer has taken the living, working political science lab that New Hampshire retail politics becomes every four years and turned it into a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for his students, A Primary Opportunity.
I spoke with Mia about her experiences in the retail politics of this election cycle’s New Hampshire primary.
What did you find unexpected, or shocking, about the retail politics of the NH primary?…Did anything about the NH primary surprise you?
When I began the process of working in New Hampshire, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. When I went canvassing for Hillary, I thought I would walk around meet some supporters and some people who were against her. One thing that surprised me was how passionate people were about the candidates they were supporting. At some points, people would kick me off their property because they supported someone else. People would yell at me, and say I didn’t know what I was talking about given the fact I was only fourteen. I never knew how passionate people were about the candidates, and what they would do to express it.
Is there one thing about the primary, or the retail politics of the NH primary that you had no idea about before living your first NH primary?
I am very thankful to have lived in New Hampshire at this important time in history. I never realized how many people there are in my community who are as passionate about Hillary Clinton as I am. I learned that there is an entire circuit of people in my area who share my opinions and views.
After it’s all over and the candidates have moved on what do you like most about your primary experiences?
The primary has been a roller coaster for me. I am extremely proud for putting myself out there and pursuing something I’m passionate about. In the past, I haven’t been very politically active, so I feel honored to have been able to potentially make a difference. I hope that somebody else saw what I was doing and felt more comfortable expressing their political voice.
Do you see any consistent lesson, or understanding- about any level of campaigning- that you’ll be carrying with you into adulthood?
One thing I have noticed as I worked on the campaign is that you can’t forget your morals and everything that you stand for when there are challenges in life. Although in many situations people will try to break you down, or overshadow your opinions, it is important to stand up for what you believe in no matter what. This primary has taught me that life isn’t about winning or losing. It’s about voicing how you feel, and not letting people tear you down. I will never forget this, and as I grow up, I will remember Hillary Clinton and feel that it’s okay for me to say how I feel.